Salt Lake City group puts on production to benefit breast cancer research



    In correlation with the efforts to thwart the deaths caused by breast cancer, The Emily Company in Salt Lake City will produce a one-woman play to benefit the cancer victims.

    The Emily Company is a non-profit organization “committed to environmental theatre and to benefiting the community” said Katharine Reilly, the show’s producer. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from the show will go to the Koman Foundation. Of those donations, 75 percent will benefit those victims in Utah, while the remaining 25 percent will be contributed to national cancer research.

    President Clinton has declared April to be the national Cancer Control Month. He said the bill he signed in October allowed for 10 more clinical trials for breast cancer treatment among other increased cancer funding. But he said the accomplishment from such projects is still not enough, according to a news wire.

    “We must not be complacent … let us draw strength from the successes of the past and reaffirm our determination to treat, prevent and ultimately eradicate cancer.”

    In 1999, every 12 minutes a woman will die from breast cancer, according to The Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

    Breast cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer among women. Each year more than 180,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the United States alone, said Dr. Nan Lu, the founder and director of The American Taoist Healing Center. Breast cancer is significantly higher in North America than in Asian and African countries.

    The play, “The Belle of Amherst,” centers on the poet Emily Dickinson. Considered a crazed hermit in her small Massachusetts town, Dickinson never left her home during the last 20 years of her life.

    Dickinson takes the audience through important events in her life, salting each transition or climax with the flavor of her verse, Reilly said.

    “It is the flow of pros to the the flow of poetry.”

    Even though only seven of Dickinson’s poems were published during her life, she wrote over 1700. Reilly described Dickinson as a truly intriguing character.

    “I find it ironic that the most famous female American poet never got published in her lifetime.”

    Reilly said the play will be a unique experience for the audience as it takes place in more of a parlor setting. It contains the new and unexpected for traditional theater.

    And it is something Reilly said she can feel good about advocating because of the great cause it benefits.

    “The Bell of Amherst” begins Saturday and plays Tuesdays through Saturdays through May 1. The play is housed at the McCune Mansion, 200 North and Main Street in Salt Lake City. Curtain time is at 8 p.m. and Saturday matinees show at 2 p.m. Student rush tickets cost $10 the day of the performance at the door. A preview will run Friday evening for the price of $15. Normal ticket prices are $20. A $50 opening night performance includes a dinner party beginning at 6:30 p.m.

    For breast cancer survivors there will be a special $25 matinee performance April 17 with a High Tea. A breast cancer survivor from Colorado will be the guest speaker for the support group.

    For more information, call Smith’s Tix at 467-TIXX.

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