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J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts

Intimate
Apparel

Intimate
Apparel

November 17-20, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
November 20, 2021 at 2 p.m.

The Emerson Black Box Theatre
Event Program

The time is 1905, the place New York City, where Esther, a black seamstress, lives in a boarding house for women and sews intimate apparel for clients who range from wealthy white patrons to prostitutes. One by one, the other denizens of the boarding house marry and move away, but Esther remains, lonely and longing for a husband and a future. She begins to receive beautiful letters from a lonesome Caribbean man named George who is working on the Panama Canal. Over time the correspondence becomes increasingly intimate until George persuades her that they should marry, sight unseen. Meanwhile, Esther’s heart seems to lie with the Hasidic shopkeeper from whom she buys cloth, and his heart with her, but the impossibility of the match is obvious to them both, and Esther consents to marry George. When George arrives in New York, however, he turns out not to be the man his letters painted him to be. Esther is determined to use her gifted hands and her sewing machine to refashion her dreams and make them anew from the whole cloth of her life’s experiences.

Book By: Lynn Nottage

“Winner of the 2004 New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle Awards. “…a deeply moving portrait of Esther, a middle-aged African-American woman…Nottage’s play has a delicacy and eloquence that seem absolutely right for the time she is depicting…New York has no richer play…” —NY Daily News.