To the Editor:
Magnificent! That's the only way to describe last Saturday afternoon. I had tea with Mary Cassatt. I was invited to watch a one-act multimedia play at Grace Episcopal Church, which was written and directed by Laura Duggan. It tells of the life of Mary Cassatt. Laura Duggan's portrayal of the famous artist held me spell-bound throughout the whole performance. There was a tea table loaded with delicacies. We sipped tea while being entertained by a most talented individual. Thank you, Laura Duggan.
"Your show was so much fun!"
"I hope you know how much everyone enjoyed your play and tea. I really did not know what to expect, but Laura you are fantastic. I hope we get another opportunity to see this play."
I would like to thank you for the programs you gave to the students of the Winthrop Elementary School and the Melrose Verteran's Memorial Middle School in Melrose. Your presentation of "Tea with Mary Cassatt" was an enlightening event and enjoyed by both schools. I was very pleased that the students from the kindergarten through the 6th grade middle school were engrossed with the show. I found it to be educational as well as entertaining. The historical facts were well presented as shown by the many questions asked of "Mary" after the formal presentation. Again thank you for a wonderful presentation which was well received by all in attendance.
Joseph D. Messina
Director of Fine Arts
Melrose Public Schools
I like the way your project combines the history of art and the social constraints of women. Art history instruction of any sort is getting harder to find in today's public schools, and when it's combined with a tried and true format of engagement (living history performance), it's sure to be effective and enjoyable. I hope I have an opportunity to see your program. Please let us know about your confirmed appearances.
Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities
For me, Tea with Mary Cassatt was a gift I will appreciate, cherish, and store in my heart forever. Tea with Mary Cassatt presented a fresh interpretation of a subject needed to surface. Your writing and acting are a ministry and you are a success.
Oscar H. Greene
“Laura Duggan brings history to life in her one-woman show. Children are captivated as she opens a door into a time unfamiliar to them now.
Mrs. Duggan’s skills as a teacher and performer are highly refined and designed to elicit careful attention from the audience. The quality of
questions that students are prepared to ask at the conclusion of the show is evidence of this. We’d be delighted to have her back!”
Nicholas Leonardos, Principal
11 Summer St.
Stoneham, MA 02180
“Entertaining, educational, historical, enlightening, and well-received by the students at both Winthrop Elementary School and Melrose Middle School.”
Joseph Messina, Director of Fine Arts, Melrose Schools
Dear Mrs. Duggan,
I’ve heard such wonderful reviews of “Tea with Mary Cassatt” and am so happy that MFH supported your performances.
Massachusetts State Senator
Both of Laura Duggan’s one-woman plays I’ve seen are lively,
entertaining, and topically relevant to what I see as a growing popular
movement to make history, especially women’s history, available and
accessible to the public. “Tea with Mary Cassatt” and “Mrs. Jack at
Fenway Court” are important contributions to the field of Art History.
Cambia Davis, Medford Cultural Coalition Former Board President of Medford Arts Center, Inc.
Your portrayal of “Mrs. Jack at Fenway Court” was fantastic and so informative. We learned a lot about how she bounced back after her son’s death and her husband’s death. She was a remarkable woman who was not afraid to realize her dream of building a top notch museum and house it with significant art works and famous paintings and a gorgeous courtyard. She was truly an independent woman for her time and was not afraid to take on the snobby Boston society. Your show certainly captures her personality.
Yours truly, Marianne and Terry Louderback
We thoroughly enjoyed the presentation of “Mrs. Jack at Fenway Court” held at the Charles Street Inn. The intimate gathering was informative, engaging, and fun. The interaction between Laura’s performance and the multimedia presentation provided a creative and effective insight into Mrs. Jack’s life. We eagerly await Laura’s next undertaking.
David and Marianne Roberts
Laura AKA Mrs. Jack,
To a fellow lover of art and the Gardner. Thank you for making this such a wonderful event.
Ulrich Boser, author of The Gardner Heist
"Wonderful use of props and video to augment a great telling of Mrs. Jack at Fenway Court."
"Very good acting and excellent use of immense amount of material."
"It was very good, really enjoyed the entire program."
"It was most interesting and enjoyable. The portrayal was excellent."
"A very enjoyable and pleasurable drama."
"Laura Duggan's Beatrix Potter one-woman play is a fascinating exploration of a complex and accomplished woman. Seeing the show helped me to understand the woman behind the books I read to my children at night. Laura's wonderful performance brought to the surface the struggles with family and gender roles of the period for this 19th century genius of both science and literature. Beautifully acted, this show is for anyone interested in this great woman, or how someone can overcome innumerable obstacles of their time to achieve great things. Not to be missed!"
The Reverend Noah H. Evans
Priest in Charge
Grace Episcopal Church
160 High Street
Medford, MA 02155
"My daughter and I watched Laura Duggan in her portrayal of Beatrix Potter at Grace Church. Laura is indeed a remarkable woman. She can age in front of us just by throwing a shawl over her shoulders or holding a cup of tea; a complete makeover from young girl Beatrix to her grandmother. She endeared herself to her audience through her mannerisms and the look in her eyes. The wonderful backdrop enhanced by multimedia put you right into the setting. We learned so much about Beatrix Potter. Her feelings for the live rabbit, Benjamin Bunny (or Peter Rabbit) were precious and seemed so real. We left the performance feeling we personally knew Beatrix Potter!"
“Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit” is a lively play that moves nimbly across time, locales, and emotional terrains. The show’s clever use of multimedia deepens the experience for the viewer in unanticipated ways. By the end of the play, I felt that I’d been in close touch with an artist’s sensibility and experiences. -- Brad Clompus
Grant writing can fund these productions. Refer to Mass Cultural Council