Entire generations have read the global bestseller, The Prophet, but how much do they know about its author, Kahlil Gibran? Gibran, Lebanese by birth, may be the most tragically successful American immigrant of all time. Less known still is his patron, Mary Haskell, the indomitable Southern reformer responsible for his fame.
In The Higher Love, two impressionable actors, Salim and Lucy, land the roles of a lifetime: poet Khalil Gibran and his patron, Mary Haskell. As rehearsals progress, the actors grapple with their unpredictable characters, the meaning of love, and the stage kiss to end all. Offstage, a tragedy strikes the play’s director, casting into doubt Gibran’s and Haskell’s lofty, if unrealized, ideals. From infatuation to heartache to conviction, each character is tested in his/her quest to seize the higher love. These parallel love stories, separated by a century, underscore the timelessness of humankind's search for transcendence through connection, and suggest that, despite Gibran’s and others’ countless musings and odes on the subject, love remains the ulti- mate mystery.
Winner of three workshop competitions, The Higher Love has been called “an impressive literary sleight of hand and heart” by novelist Isabella Ides. “The double dramatization/intersection of the actors and their characters was a sublime and deep metaphor mirroring the way lovers mythologize themselves.” Tania Sammons, former curator of the Gibran Collection, writes, “Germaine Shames captures the essence of Mary and Kahlil and brings depth to their story in her wonderful new play.”
Now & Then is proud to perform in residence at Metropolitan Arts Institute: 1700 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
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