Short Stories on Stage: “Quicksand” and “The Looking Glass” Come to Life at the Wharton Salon [Berkshire on Stage]

August 21st, 2013, 1:15 pm by Sara
Ava Lindenmaier and Ariel Bock in The Quicksand. Photos by Kevin Sprague.

Ava Lindenmaier and Ariel Bock in “The Quicksand.” Photos by Kevin Sprague.

Every August the Wharton Salon pops up in the Stables Theatre at the Mount and continues the happy tradition of staging Edith Wharton’s works at her beloved Berkshire home. For this, their fifth season, the company has commissioned adaptations of two of Wharton’s short stories, neither of which has been staged in Lenox before: The Quicksand, adapted by Alison Ragland and directed by Catherine Taylor-Williams, and The Looking Glass, adapted by Elaine Smith and directed by Daniela Varon. These two stories were selected because they represent two very different stages in Wharton’s life as a woman and as a writer.

The Quicksand was first published in 1902, the year Wharton (1862-1937) turned 40 and the year she and her husband took up residence in the newly-built Mount. Already a successful writer but a few years away from the composition and recognition of her major works, at the turn of the 20th century Wharton was entering middle-age trapped in a loveless marriage to a man sinking ever deeper into the clutches of mental illness.

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Review: “The Inner House” at the Wharton Salon in Partnership with The Mount [Berkshire on Stage]

August 24th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Sara
The Inner House features Tod Randolph as Edith Wharton. At The Mount in Lenox, August 15-26, 2012.

The Inner House features Tod Randolph as Edith Wharton. At The Mount in Lenox, August 15-26, 2012.

By Gail Burns and Larry Murray. For the Berkshire-Capital region’s most comprehensive listing of theatre offerings visit

Gail Burns: This is your first time at a Wharton Salon, now do you understand why it sells out at most performances, and why it is so exciting theatrically?

Larry Murray: Yes, and more than that, the biggest benefit is that I understand Edith Wharton (1862-1937) a whole lot better than I did before. I think Dennis Krausnick’s adaptation of Wharton’s autobiography A Backward Glance gave me a far greater understanding of the writer from her earliest years to old age. Incorporating a few of her poems and letters gave us insights into her Inner House which was substantial.

Gail: I have read A Backward Glance and a biography of Wharton, and Krausnick has done an excellent job of telescoping a long and full life into 75 minutes of theatre. The Inner House is an accurate portrait of Wharton.

Larry: Tod Randolph took a spill last week, but proved to be the trouper.

Gail: She is indeed! Although we had been warned that she might perform seated much of the time I throught she moved naturally, even sitting on the floor and rising again. Her obvious injury was on the left side of her face, although much had been done with make-up and bandages to normalize her appearance. Luckily Arthur Oliver has costumed her in the fashion of the turn of the 20th century, so she is covered from chin to toe to wrist and any other injuries are well hidden. Of course we saw her very soon after her fall. Time will work its healing magic.

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