South Pasadena, we are in for a very special treat! A special 30 minute concert reading of A Woman of Indepenent Means will be performed by actress Lissa Layng Reynolds during our South Pasadena Arts Crawl this Saturday February 24.
After the reading there will be an informal talk and questions with the author of the novel and play, Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey.
The performance and talk back will take place at the South Pasadena Public Library, 1100 Oxley Street, South Pasadena on Saturday February 24 at 6:00 p.m.
This is a FREE event sponsored by South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC), South Pasadena Public Library, Friends of the South Pasadena Library, and the City of South Pasadena.
Lissa Layng Reynolds performed the play, A Woman of Independent Means for a 6 month run at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, before touring the show in the US and Canada. Reynolds tells us “I’m so pleased to have a chance to share one of my favorite novels in play form, and very much look forward to introducing Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey’s A Woman Of Independent Means to a new generation of daughters and I hope they will be inspired to read the novel which is full of riches beyond measure!”
Originally published in 1978, A Woman Of Independent Means is the richly woven story of Bess Steed Garner, whose trials and triumphs from the early 1900s through the 1960’s make her a woman for all ages. Bess Steed Garner is a woman who didn’t have to leave home in order to become liberated! When this book was first published it was a bestselling sensation.
Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey was born in Dallas, Texas, not far from the home of her maternal grandmother whose life inspired her first novel A Woman of Independent Means. She attended Hollins College (now Hollins University) in Virginia and worked during the summers on her hometown paper The Dallas Morning News where she met her husband, playwright Oliver Hailey. They moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where she worked as a copy editor at the Yale University Press while he attended the Yale Drama School. His career took them to New York and then to Los Angeles where, between plays, he worked in film and television (she joined him for the groundbreaking series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) and she began to write novels.
Oliver Hailey was the first to envision A Woman as a one-person stage play. It went from a workshop production straight to Broadway starring film actress Barbara Rush and ultimately became a six-hour NBC miniseries starring Sally Field.
Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey has written three more best-selling novels, including Joanna’s Husband and David’s Wife which she adapted as a two-person stage play. Lissa Reynolds has starred in both plays at the Fremont Center Theatre in South Pasadena, a venue the playwright considers her theatre home.
“One of those rare shows that has the whole festival buzzing” – Executive Director of Vancouver Fringe Festival
“Womans’s strong solo character resonates. So does Layng’s striking performance…” – RECOMMENDED LA TIMES
“Hailey’s writing has easy accessibility and pertinence” – LA TIMES
“Lissa Layng’s brilliant talent makes every phase of the character believable…” – Entertainment Today
“A CAPTIVATING ‘WOMAN’. Layng’s performance radiates an essential humanity…” Pasadena Star News
“A magnificent, monumental theatrical achievement…Layng’s flawless Tour De Force performance…Spellbinding.” – Tolucan Times
“Layng plays her (Bess) with charm, wit,and elegance and infuses her with the persuasiveness of a velvet steamroller” – reviewplay.com