The Nobel Prize winning Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek, best known in the United States for her novel The Piano Teacher and the 2001 film based on it, writes in her stage directions for her solo play Jackie:
Jackie should appear in a Chanel suit, I think... One could also take as a model that last photograph in Central Park (with Maurice Tempelsman), the one on the bench, trench coat, wig (hair lost because of chemo), sunglasses, and Hermès scarf. In any case, she should work hard. I imagine all her dead loved ones, her children, well, the embryo and the two dead babies aren't that heavy, but those dead men, Jack, Bobby, Telis ("Ari"), they'll be quite a load, so, how shall I put it, she should drag those dead ones behind her like in a tug-of-war. Or like a Wolga boatman with his boat.
Jackie, an intensely theatrical dissection of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and the myths surrounding her well-coiffed veneer, is a disturbing exploration of submission, power, and the hypocrisy of everyday life.
Starring Tina Benko and directed by Tea Alagic from the English translation by Gitta Honegger, Jackie begins previews Sunday, February 24, for an opening Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30pm at Women's Project Theater's new home, New York City Center Stage II, 131 West 55th Street.
Notoriously private, Elfriede Jelinek (b. 1946) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004 The Nobel cited "her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power" when making the award. Ms. Jelinek, who suffers from severe acute anxiety syndrome that keeps her homebound, did not appear at the Nobel ceremony nor submit a biography for the Nobel Prize press release.