‘The Belle Of Amherst’ opens in Amana Oct. 12

AMANA — The Iowa Theatre Artists Company opens “The Belle Of Amherst” by William Luce at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Only six performances of this production will be offered, featuring Meg Merckens in the role of celebrated American poet Emily Dickinson.

“The Belle Of Amherst” opened on Broadway in 1976. Luce calls it “ … a love affair with language, a celebration of all that is beautiful and poignant in life.” The play explores the life of poet Emily Dickinson from the age of 15 — a young, vibrant girl full of hope and success — through the years as she becomes more and more reclusive, but still fervently pursuing her passion to see her poems published. The play draws liberally from actual letters written by Dickinson and those who knew her to give a fascinating insight into the brilliance behind her poetry that still is read and treasured today.

Merckens first performed the role in 1983 at The Old Creamery Theatre in Garrison, and looks forward to revisiting this captivating production.

“I was perhaps a bit young when I played Emily the first time around,” Merckens said.  “Having the opportunity to play the same role again, with a lot of life experience since the first production, has been a very touching and rewarding experience. I do hope the audience enjoys it as much as I do.”

Thomas P. Johnson, co-producer of ITAC,  is the director of “The Belle Of Amherst.” 

“The Belle Of Amherst” runs October 12-21, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and at 1:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets can be reserved by calling the ITAC box office at (319) 622-3222 or email itac@southslope.net. Ticket price is $22.50 for adults and $10 for students.