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                  Photo by Arthur Cohen

                  Photo by Arthur Cohen

In his writing, Mark Twain often revisited the Garden of Eden, imagining the very first couple's exploration of the Earth. Every commonplace for us is a mystery for them. Each beast, each plant, each scientific phenomenon is a marvel to be wondered at and explored.

Twain's Eve is eternally questioning, her passion for learning matched only by her love for Adam. From the moment she discovers him (“It had no hips; it tapered like a carrot!”) to her profound examination of a centuries-long devotion, Eve is Child and Woman both unique and universal.

In her witty and poignant dramatization, actress-playwright Gayle Stahlhuth has ingeniously interwoven highlights from several Twain stories and essays—setting them “a long time ago, in Heaven.” Featured are selections from “Eve's Diary,” “Extract from Eve's Diary,” and “Papers of the Adam's Family.”

Eve's Diary  is simply but fully staged. It may be booked alone (45 minutes) or paired with Someone Must Wash the Dishes (25 minutes) to create a double bill titled The Rib Speaks Out.

AUDIENCE APPEAL

Eve’s Diary  illuminates high school, college, and university courses in American literature, history, women's studies, and religion. It is popular with libraries and museums, historical and literary societies, and has been recommended as “an excellent vehicle” for discussion in bereavement groups.

PRODUCTION HISTORY

Mark Twain penned his stories of Adam and Eve between 1887 and 1905. The death of his devoted wife, Olivia, in 1904, profoundly affected his concluding effort. Gayle Stahlhuth premiered her lovingly researched adaptation nearly a century later, in 1995, at New York City's Womenkind V Festival. Michèle first performed Gayle’s Eve’s Diary  in 1999, at New York's Mohonk Mountain House. Subsequent sponsors include Chicago’s Newberry Library; Midland College, Texas; and Saint Louis’ Missouri Historical Society.