|THE LAST FLAPPER|
This one-woman show is based on the letters and stories of Zelda Fitzgerald, the glamorous, fun loving and tragic Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald who embodies the live fast, die young philosophy. Starring Beth Marshall, as the indomitable Zelda, the play was recently performed in Cambria to great reviews and was picked up by Wine Country Theatre to present as part of our season.
The play is akin to a roller-coaster ride as Zelda takes you through her creative, turbulent, childlike, impassioned pursuit of life through fragmented remembrances. With cutting wit one moment, tangible angst the next, she moves through the past, revealing a rebellious nature that surfaced in the home of her Southern aristocratic parents. Against her fathers wishes, Zelda married F. Scott Fitzgerald, beginning their whirlwind existence and mutual jealousies, all ending with her husband committing her to an asylum and her mental disintegration.
Left unsupervised in a sanitarium, where she has been placed by her famous husband, Zelda breaks into the desk of her psychiatrist, flips through her file, and tells us her life story. She was a cultural icon of the 1920s, the symbol of a liberated generation that made up its own rules. But Zelda also suffered from an undiagnosed form of mental illness, and she constantly felt overshadowed by her more famous, and more gifted, husband. Her monologue alternates sardonic comments about her present confinement and dreamy reminiscences about her adolescence with flashes of anger and resentment, mostly aimed at Scott .
An artist and author in her own right, Zelda finds herself a repressed candle dimly flickering in her husbands limelight, with Scott constantly trying to extinguish or utilize her creativity.
It is her submission of a novel to Fitzgeralds editor that leads to Zeldas institutionalization.
This highly recommended production provides insights into one of literary historys most tempestuous affairs; it also exposes the darker results of shackling an artists emergence. See the play and view how the medical community treated Zelda and any woman who challenged the still evident Victorian expectations. Her first European psychiatrist wrote that the goal was to bring Mrs. Fitzgerald to accept her role as a good wife and mother to her child. Her artistic pursuits were to be limited to hobbies and not career goals.
That Scott and Zelda needed each other and destroyed each other is one of the great stories in American literary culture. On a deeper level, what did their lives say about America, the dream, and the reality?
|Starring Beth Marshall as Zelda Fitzgerald|
Beth is thrilled to be back at Wine Country Theatre, reprising her role as Zelda Fitzgerald, in The Last Flapper. She has also been in Wine Country Productions of Fiddler on the Roof (Yente,) and Guys and Dolls (Alma Abernathy.) Other roles in which she has performed locally include Ouiser in Steel Magnolias and Mariette in The Dinner Party at the Pewter Plough Playhouse, Pantelone in The Servant of Two Masters at Cuesta College, and Serpiente in El Jardin at Allan Hancock College. She has also performed as a stand up and vocal comic in various venues throughout SLO county. Currently Beth is doing improv comedy at The LA Connection Comedy Club in Burbank, CA, and has been in several TV shows (Fox's 9-1-1 and Showtime's I’’m Dying Up Here, among others. She has also appeared in several commercials and short films produced in Los Angeles, and is on the Wine Country Theatre Board of Directors.
In her previous life, before being active in the performing arts, Beth had a full career as a pilot for Delta Air Lines.
Beth would like to thank everyone who volunteers at Wine Country Theatre and especially the support staff on this show, who have given up a lot of their time to make this production possible. "Its a huge amount of work!"
|All photos © Iain MacAdam