how to write a

based on the letters of marie de rabutin-chantal


Our exploration of the letters as source material for the stage began as a one-person piece.

The idea of an ensemble came about during a development residency in 2009 when we asked a handful of college-aged interns at the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst to read some letters in translation, and then proposed exercises for them to play with on stage. They not only enjoyed reading the letters, but also helped us answer questions about the play that we had begun to explore as a solo piece. Enlivened by our commerce with them, we began to incorporate the ensemble into the work. The idea, initially an accidental encounter, has become a cornerstone of both the play’s development and its structure. At its center, the play now has a group of young actors that is at times a chorus and at times a modern ensemble.

We design our residencies around ensemble building and elements of new play creation.

The ensemble

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