"Glassie's poems trace the connection between actor and character, the invisibility of the director, and every other part of the theater with a grace and elegance that draws the reader into the world behind the curtain, right before the spotlight turns on."
- Frances Gossen, Clarion
The relationship between actor and role: few relationships are as intimate or intense. An invited spirit inhabits the actor’s body, and for the short space of a show the character speaks through a borrowed throat and looks through borrowed eyes. And then, what becomes of the characters an actor gave life to? They haunt the actor’s heart, of course, gazing back at her when she looks into a mirror, speaking to her directly in quiet moments. They stay with her, children of her parentage and partners to her self-making.
Curtain Speech is partly a work of memoir, partly a dialogue with the theatre, and partly the diary of an actor in love with the performance of words. Voices and faces abound, belonging to the inhabitants of various stories and various stages. Ellen Adair Glassie’s poetry is keenly mindful of the interplay between word and gesture, and it contains multitudes.