Louis Bromfield the entertainer

Louis Bromfield was a friend to many of the most famous writers and artists of his day.

MANSFIELD -- The Ohio State University at Mansfield welcomes audiences to join its virtual theatre performance Separate Together on Thursday, Oct. 15.

This compilation of three short, timeless pieces will kick off with a scene from an exciting, rare, and not in circulation play by local Pulitzer Prize-winning author, screenwriter and playwright Louis Bromfield.

It is fitting for the Ohio State Mansfield Theatre Program to perform a Bromfield piece with him being a local legend as a novelist and conservationist, and the campus Bromfield Library being his namesake. Bromfield’s play De Luxe, co-written by John Gearon and originally performed on Broadway in 1935, portrays Paris in the 1930s among a group of frustrated but quick-witted socialites.

The Malabar Farm Foundation, holder of the copyrights for all Louis Bromfield material, assisted in the presentation of excerpts from Bromfield’s play De Luxe in celebration of the 125th anniversary of his birth. 

“As our mission is to promote preservation of the principles, philosophies and ideals of Louis Bromfield as well as the Big House,” said Malabar Farm Foundation Board Member David Crawford. “This presentation is a perfect example of our mission and vision in practice. We extend our thanks to the Ohio State Mansfield Theatre Program for their effort.”

Directly following De Luxe, the same actors will perform the 15-minute comedy I Think They Moved to Buffalo by Granville, Ohio playwright Peter Pauze. The light-hearted, sentimental piece features an older couple speaking to their younger selves and wondering how their life could have been different.

Excerpts from a modern abridgement of Oedipus Rex, Sophocles’ Greek Tragedy from 430 B.C., will conclude the performances. This work-in-progress is based on Richard Jebb’s translation of the script and has been stripped to its essentials. Set in the midst of a plague, the themes of reckoning, self-awareness and attempting to flee from fate yet rushing headlong to meet it continue to speak to audiences today just as they did in ancient times.

Ohio State Mansfield Theatre Director Joseph Fahey chose these pieces to highlight new work and writers with an Ohio connection and believes altogether, these three shorts will make for an eclectic and engaging evening.

“Bromfield is an under-appreciated genius, and we are excited to bring a sample of one of his lesser-known works to local audiences,” Fahey said. “Mr. Pauze has a knack for creating quirky comic moments and very relatable characters. And the Oedipus project gave us a chance to distill a world-famous classic down to a vital, dynamic story. Our hope is to make it available to schools as a free resource for studying and performing Greek tragedies.”

Visit www.mansfield.osu.edu/theatre for details on how to join this virtual performance. Separate Together performs Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. All performances are free and open to everyone, and the total performance time is under one hour.

Accessibility: The Ohio State University is committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. It will be providing live closed caption services during this event.

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