Classic ‘Belle of Amherst’ at Two River Theater opens tonite, closes May 5

Two River Theater tonight opens the  classic one-woman play “The Belle of Amherst, “a biographical drama (with plenty of laughs) starring Maureen Silliman as poet Emily Dickinson.

It’s directed by the theater’s founder and Executive Producer Robert Rechnitz, a former Professor of American Literature at Monmouth University in West Long Branch.

Written by William Luce (who specializes in writing one-person plays, several featuring Julie Harris, including this one that debuted on Broadway in 1976).

Performances continue through Sunday, May 5 at the theater 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank, NJ. Tickets are available at 732-345-1400 or at

Maureen Silliman in "The Belle of Amherst" at Two River Theater.
Maureen Silliman in “The Belle of Amherst.” (PHOTO: T Charles Erickson)

“I am thrilled to be part of Two River Theater’s 25th Anniversary season and I’m especially happy to be working once again with director Robert Rechnitz …” Silliman said.  “Our Emily is very much a human being, who falls in love, who experiences loss, who dreams of the future.

“Audiences will see a girl, a woman, who is not so far from themselves, but with a gift of putting her feelings—indeed all our feelings—into such beautiful words.”

Emily Dickinson tells her own story in Luce’s portrait of the writer, drawn from her poems, diaries and letters. The play embodies Two River’s mission to produce “new works and world masterpieces that most richly direct our gaze to the life of the human spirit.,” according to a press release.

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732-345-1400.