Edith Wharton’s “Autre Temps” Gets Set in Another Time

Rory Hammond as Leila and Diane Prusha as Mrs. Lidcote in the Wharton Salon's "Autre Temps" (photo by Kevin Sprague)

Rory Hammond as Leila and Diane Prusha as Mrs. Lidcote in the Wharton Salon's "Autre Temps" (photo by Kevin Sprague)

(LENOX, Mass.) – Edith Wharton’s century-old story, “Autres Temps…,” about divorce American-style, is being given a new staging in a different time – the Mad Men year of 1962 – by the Wharton Salon theater company at Wharton’s old estate, The Mount. This Autre Temps includes real-life mother and daughter Diane Prusha and Rory Hammond playing Mrs. Lidcote and daughter Leila, Corinna May as Susy Suffern and James Goodwin Rice as Franklin Ide.

“Autres Temps…” was first published in Century Magazine in the summer of 1911 as “Other Times, Other Manners,” and comes from a French saying, “Autres temps, autres moeurs.” It appeared next in the collection Xingu in 1916 as “Autres Temps…” It has since been published in numerous collections.

“I’ve always thought Mrs. Wharton was at least fifty years ahead of her time, and this year we’re going to prove it,” says Wharton Salon artistic director Catherine Taylor-Williams. “’Autres Temps…’ was written in 1911, so we’re going to set it halfway between then and now, in 1962, a tipping point in American society our audiences will recognize. There are a lot of modern novels on the market now that are inspired by Wharton, but this will be the first time we have brought a Wharton play adaptation this far forward. Not surprisingly, almost nothing needed to be changed – it fit like a glove.”

Wharton Salon founder and director Catherine Taylor-Williams (photo by Kevin Sprague)

Wharton Salon founder and director Catherine Taylor-Williams (photo by Kevin Sprague)

The play, which was adapted by Dennis Krausnick, is directed by Taylor-Williams, with costumes by Arthur Oliver.  Tickets are $35 general admission.  Performances take place in The Stables Auditorium two weekday evenings (Wednesday and Thursday at 5:30 pm) and on weekends (Saturday at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm, and Sunday at 10:30 am) August 17-28.  For tickets and information visit Wharton Salon or The Mount or call 1.800.838.3006.

The Wharton Salon performs the stories of Edith Wharton and her contemporaries in adaptation, offering a unique intimacy between author, actor and audience.  The plays are performed in site-specific locations allowing audiences to experience Wharton’s world through words, architecture and nature.

The Mount is a center for culture inspired by the passions and achievements of Edith Wharton. Designed and built by Wharton in 1902, the house embodies the principles outlined in her influential book, The Decoration of Houses (1897). The property includes three acres of formal gardens designed by Wharton, who was also an authority on European landscape design, surrounded by extensive woodlands. Programming at The Mount reflects Wharton’s core interests in the literary arts, interior design and decoration, garden and landscape design, and the art of living.  For more information visit The Mount.

 

 

 

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