Professor Stephanie Burlington Daniels, in collaboration with Boston theater company Sleeping Weazel, delivered a quirky and lively performance of Kenneth Prestininzi’s one-woman play Birth Breath Bride Elizabeth at The Next Thing Festival at Emerson College on February 22 and 23.
Daniels plays Mary Shelley-Breath, a “mad” academic, and, as described by Sleeping Weazel, “gives birth to a newly imagined post-feminist manifesto that re-mixes Frankenstein with Princess Diana, Elvis Presley and a young bride’s hope to have the cake of her dreams.”
The Boston Globe featured a review praising her performance. “As portrayed by Stephanie Burlington Daniels, who delivers one of the more fearless performances in recent memory, Mary is a creation as singularly unnerving as the monster in Frankenstein, a paperback copy of which she lovingly cradles against her cheek,” according to the reviewer. “Daniels further spices the mix by endowing Mary with an array of eccentricities that include a wheezing accordion laugh very reminiscent of Shelley Long’s Diane Chambers in Cheers…. Mary drops her voice to a whisper; she rails at an unseen projectionist who ignores her demand for a clip from James Whale’s film adaptation of Frankenstein; she struggles for breath; she unleashes sudden, horror-movie screams that rival the young Jamie Lee Curtis. You have no idea what she will do or say next—and you sometimes get the exhilarating sense that she doesn’t, either.”
Wheaton Professor Clinton O’Dell was the costume designer for the play. Professor Charlotte Meehan is the founder of Sleeping Weazel, which explores and engages novel approaches to developing, presenting and exhibiting multimedia theater, interdisciplinary installations, performance events, music, poetry and video/audio.