Sylvia Plath Must Not Die

Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, two of the 20th century’s most prolific and complex literary figures, are inexorably linked, as much by their mutual zeal for life as by their infamous deaths.

They met in a poetry class, but their friendship flared over martinis at the Ritz, where they spilled stories of psychiatry and suicide, delighting in a mutual disdain for taboo. Their insatiable appetites, sexual and intellectual, defied strait-jacketed social norms and their prescribed roles as mothers and wives. Together, their writing sparked a revolution in American poetry, bringing personal confession to the forefront of verse by pounding frustration and turmoil onto typewritten pages.

In their newest original work, the award-winning One Yellow Rabbit Performing Ensemble invites audiences on a voyeuristic journey to another era, where cocktails are swilled and conflicted souls are expressed in a cathartic torrent of ink and emotion. Using the text of Plath and Sexton as a springboard, they tackle themes of power, madness, extinction and survival, presenting poetry as it should be: fierce, fervent and devastating.

Entering the tower of my fears, 
I shut my door on that dark guilt, 
I bolt the door, each door I bolt. 
Blood quickens, gonging in my ears: The panther’s tread is on the stairs,
Coming up and up the stairs.
- Sylvia Plath, from “Pursuit”
2008 (with Doing Leonard Cohen) Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, Canada
Poems by Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton  •  Additional Text by Blake Brooker and Ensemble  •  Directed by Blake Brooker  •  Staged by Denise Clarke  •  Sound Design by Richard McDowell
Cast: Denise Clarke, Andy Curtis, Michael Green, Onalea Gilbertson and Rheostatics (Dave Bidini, Selina Martin, Barry Mirochnick, Ford Pier, and Martin Tielli)