Degas in New Orleans

A drama that explores Edgar Degas' scandalous visit to New Orleans in 1872. Edgar Degas, the French Impressionist painter, is struggling with the conflicts of helping his brother and Louisiana relatives in America, and pursuing a career as a painter. Fame and spiritability come to a head when he discovers he is still in love with his sister-in-law who is pregnant and blind. Edgar struggles with ethical priorities when he discovers his aggressive charming brother has gone through all the family money in an attempt to save his uncle's sugar business. One integrated int/ext.set.

Edgar Degas, 38, painter
Rene Degas, 27, brother of Degas
(2 sisters)
Desiree (Didi) Musson, 34, their unmarried cousin
Estelle (Tell) Musson Balfour Degas, 29, their blind cousin and Reneís wife
Josephine (Jo) Balfour, 10, Tellís little girl from her first marriage America Durrive Olivier, 24, Reneís mistress

We are in a two-story rental house on 2306 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. It is 1872. A double parlor with the remnants of grandeur: a glittering chandelier, an elegant tattered sofa, a mahogany desk, and a high-back chair. To the right, two floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a galley; to the left, a door to the pantry. Upstage two matching parlor doors lead offstage to an unseen staircased grand hallway that connects the upstairs, and the front and rear of the house. Outside we hear the clanging of a random mule-drawn streetcar. Throughout the play, Degasí paintings or the rapturous colors within them are projected onto the rear wall, lending their transparent blues, pinks, and violets to the bleak setting.

NOTE: A French translation of DEGAS IN NEW ORLEANS by Philippe Miglioli is available. Contact Tonda Marton, The Marton Agency, Inc., 1 Union Square W., Suite 815, New York, NY 10003 Phone: 212-255-1908

Edgar Degas in New Orleans