As many of you dear readers know, I’ve an extensive background in classical theatre, including adaptation of 19th century literature for the professional stage which manifested into one-woman shows. I’m thrilled that providence has brought me back around to favorite subject matters and old friends. My many Gaslamp Fantasy novels channel bold, dynamic Victorian women as they struggle to make their way in a restrictive world and now I’ll be doing the channeling more directly: portraying a historical visionary I admire very much.
I’m presently developing By the Light of Tiffany: A Meeting with Clara Driscoll, a one-woman show about a pioneering female designer at the core of the decorative arts movement in Gilded Age America. An award-winning artist, Clara was responsible for designing Tiffany Studios’ most iconic glass lamps and managed the Womens’ Glass Cutting Department- the “Tiffany Girls”- at Tiffany’s New York studios at the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th Century. This hour long celebration of visionary women, passion, determination and the transcendent beauty of art will be adapted and interpreted from the wonderful wealth of Clara Pierce Wolcott Driscoll’s letters, historical records and inspiring aspects of her unique story.
|Clara Pierce Wolcott Driscoll|
The show premieres September 7th in mine and Clara’s home state of Ohio, just down the street from one of the only stained glass companies left in North America, BeauVerre Riordan Glass in Middletown. (Premiere Details here)
After the premiere the show will travel to historic homes, museums and artistic institutions around the country. This is a truly wonderful confluence of my artistic interests and talents. Performances will fold seamlessly into my writing life as I continue writing novels set in the late 19th century that highlight the importance of women leaders and the transcendent power of art and atmosphere. (Yes, Clara Driscoll appears as a featured character in one of my current novels-in-progress!)
Further Details about the show:
By the Light of Tiffany: A Meeting with Clara Driscoll
Award-winning author, playwright and classically trained actress Leanna Renee Hieber channels the talented artist Clara Wolcott Driscoll, designer of iconic Tiffany lamps and the manager of the Women’s Glass Cutting department of Tiffany Studios. Infused with passion and dedication, By the Light of Tiffany is a one hour celebration of art and vision, a one-woman show adapted from Driscoll’s personal letters, historical record and inspiring insights, showcasing the vitality, innovation and importance of women in the decorative arts movement.
A native of Tallmadge, Ohio, Driscoll was encouraged by a loving, tight-knit family to pursue higher education and after studying first at the Cleveland Institute of Art and then the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, she was hired by Louis Comfort Tiffany to work in his Tiffany Studios and soon was given managerial responsibilities. Driscoll oversaw the “Tiffany Girls”, the Women’s Glass Cutting Department of the Studio and designed many of Tiffany’s most iconic lamps, including the Dragonfly, Wisteria, and Daffodil lamps. Driscoll won first place for her Dragonfly Lamp design at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and was noted as one of the highest paid women of the Gilded Age ($10,000 per year), at a time when women made 60% less than men. She oversaw over 50 women at the department’s height and was an active artist her entire life.
Leanna Renee Hieber grew up in Hamilton, Ohio and graduated from Miami University with a BFA in theatre performance and a focus in the 19th Century. A member of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s first Young Company, she went on to work in regional theatres around the country doing Shakespeare, classical theatre and adapting 19th century literature for the professional stage. An award-winning, critically acclaimed author of over 10 Historical Fantasy novels such as the Strangely Beautiful saga, considered a foundation work of Gaslamp Fantasy, the Magic Most Foul saga and the new Eterna Files trilogy with Tor Books. Her work has been featured in notable anthologies and several of her books have been included national book club editions and translated into languages such as Polish, Complex Chinese and German. A New York City resident for twelve years, she is a licensed New York City tour guide, a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire and Mysteries at the Museum.
By the Light of Tiffany debuts Sept 7th as a part of the First Fridays Concert and Artist Series in Middletown, OH, thanks to many Ohio arts council groups:
Would you like to bring Clara into your institution? For future booking arrangements, please note Leanna’s Appearance schedule thus far and use the contact form on the Appearances page of her website to inquire about rates and details.
Blessings of color and light!