LAMB'S Players Theatre in San Diego Welcomes Back Audiences with One Woman Show About Emily Dickinson

The Belle of Amherst is a Tour Through a Felt Recap of the American 19th Century Poet's Life with a Sweet Portrayal by Cynthia Gerber 

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Cynthia Gerber as Emily Dickinson. Photo by J.T. MacMillan
It does not get any better than going to the lovely Coronado "Island" with its unique look and feel to enjoy an evening of theatre. LAMB's is back and celebrating its 50th year doing theatre with The Belle of Amherst written by William Luce and directed by Robert Smyth, is a one-person show about Emily Dickinson. Cynthia Gerber is very sweet and vivacious as the American poet. 

The scenic and lighting designs by Mike Buckley comprised of fall trees and a Victorian-looking living room accompanied by a faithful replica of Dickinson's desk, and Michael McKeon's projections of the family members for context, rounds out the piece and also that fall feels. The trees also give it a Massachusetts feel giving a wink to Dickinson's birthplace. The special touches are in the details, and what better place than live theatre to explore these creative options.

William Luce blends the poetry in the story as Gerber narrates Emily's day-to-day and surroundings. There is no fourth wall here; Robert Smyth's direction guides Cynthia in a dialogue with the audience. She goes from corner to corner of the stage utilizing all the space sharing Dickinson family details, making it a piece about history dressed with lines from the poetry. This is a creative and authentic concept. 

Gerber's energy goes beyond the stage showing how much she wanted to do this piece and that as an audience member, is appreciated.

Cynthia Gerber as Emily Dickinson. Photo by J.T. MacMillan

As with practically all plays now, in these face mask-wearing during performances times, there is no intermission, and 'Belle runs a little over 90 minutes. These one actor pieces can be hard and a tad tedious. 15-20 minutes less could have made it better.

The Belle of Amherst is currently playing until November 14. LAMB's Players stayed afloat during the pandemic thanks to the generous donations of patrons but they also continued to explore creative outlets with promotional merch and a recipe book by the artistic team and casts.

For more information on this as well as performance dates and times, go to their website: 

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