Island Theatre to stage ‘Pound’ at the library

Bainbridge playwright Sean O’Leary’s play “Pound” examines one of America’s greatest poets — and most controversial figures.

Ezra Pound was an American genius. Poet, literary critic, fascist, anti-Semite, he was charged with treason and judged insane, but then dominated St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital much as he had the literary world until, at age 73, he suddenly retreated into an emotional shell from which he never fully emerged.

O’Leary’s play — which will be read by Island Theatre at a free public performance at the Bainbridge Public Library at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17 — imagines what might have happened to irreversibly change the character of this literary giant, mentor to no less than Hemingway, James Joyce and T.S. Elliott, among many others.

The production is part of the Island Theatre at the Library series of staged readings presented bi-monthly, is directed by Steve Stolee, and features local actors Tim Tully, Rachel Noll, Jeffrey Brown and Paula Elliot.

Tully, Brown and Elliot are veterans of local productions. Noll is a recent transplant to Bainbridge from California.

Stolee is one of the co-founders of Island Theatre, a 24-year-old community institution know for bringing unusual and provocative theatre (often with local associations) with content and perspectives for mature audiences, including the annual Ten-Minute Play Festival held in August at the BPA Playhouse.

O’Leary is the author of seven full-length plays. “Valu-Mart” won the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Ruby Lloyd Apsey Award and premiered at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater in March 2010. “Beneath Shelton Laurel” was commissioned by The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre where it played to record audiences between 2005 and 2006 and won a National Endowment for the Arts “Access to Artistic Excellence” grant for a touring production.

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