Shut UP, Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson: poet, recluse, a**hole. Loosely based on her Master Letters, Shut UP, Emily Dickinson is a pseudo-historical, quasi-biographical, hysterically existential, sadomasochistic psycho-romance about America’s most brilliant and annoying poetess. Holed up for all eternity in the bedroom of our minds, “the woman in white” stretches into a projection screen for truths, half-truths, truthiness, and truth-less-ness. Winner of The Jill Cummins MacLean Prize. This darkly comedic play runs approximately 75 minutes.

“I found myself admiring O’Debra’s wild balancing act that captures Dickinson’s odd soul. We’ll never really know what kept Dickinson a prisoner in that upstairs room in Amherst, Massachusetts, but if you see this show you’ll have some insight into the kind of demons or gods that might have plagued her. And you’ll find yourself laughing guiltily as you learn these lessons.” – CityBeat

We use theatrical haze and extremely coarse language that depicts sex and violence. This is not a polite depiction of Emily Dickinson, and it’s probably not suitable for children.


Tanya O’Debra (Playwright, Emily Dickinson) is a New York City-based playwright, performer, and MFA candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Dramatic Writing. Off-Off Broadway: Fuck You (Excellence Award in Overall Production at Fringe NYC); Radio Star (published by Original Works, Best of the San Francisco Fringe, nominations from the Montreal Fringe & NYIT Awards); The Secrets of Avondale Falls, written by The O’Debra Twins (readings at Dixon Place and Celebration of Whimsy, presented at the Cincy Fringe Festival). She is a graduate of Smith College where she won The Denis Johnston Playwriting Award, The Elizabeth Wanning Harries Prize, and The Elizabeth Drew Prize. Other theater credits include Patrice O’Debra in Straight Up Vampire (Joe’s Pub), The Evil Queen in Snow White (The New Acting Company), and Amanda McCloud in The Ultimate Stimulus (Dixon Place, The Brick), as well as being one half of the long-time comedic sister duo, The O’Debra Twins.


This event will take place in the Experimental Theater.

Experimental Theater
The Experimental Theater is a flexible seating space. Wheelchair and mobility device seating locations change from performance to performance. Details for each performance will be listed on the ticketing page. The Experimental Theater is accessed via an elevator.

Read more about accessibility at Abrons Arts Center


Ada Comstock Magic Grant via Smith College and the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation