“All Under Heaven: Life of Pearl” debuts Friday, Aug. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Lewis Theatre in downtown Lewisburg as part of the Lewisburg Literary Festival.
The play shows again on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton and on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Ames-Claire Hallin Union.
This one-woman show stars Cathey Sawyer, former artistic director of Greenbrier Valley Theatre.
Written by Valerie Harper and Dyke Garrison “All Under Heaven: Life of Pearl” is a one-woman play about Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck which takes place a year prior to her death as she waits for a visa to arrive that will permit her to visit her beloved China once again.
Her memories of her early life in Chingkiang where her father was a missionary open the door to recollections of many people and events in her extraordinary life. A consummate storyteller, she recreates an array of some 14 male and female characters from her life.
She details her personal and professional struggles including her experiences in China during the revolution and the criticisms from the literary world when she surpassed other big name (and mostly male) authors to win the Nobel.
Buck also came under attack at the McCarthy hearings for her fervent anti-racist views and her friendships with noted civil rights leaders. She describes the causes she championed including her efforts to establish and fund an adoption agency to rescue Asian children fathered by US GIs.
Throughout it all, Buck is candid about her personal struggles and finds humor where she can.