While vacationing with her family at the beautiful Grand Isle, Edna Pontellier meets the flirtatious and charming Robert Lebrun. She feels a fluttering and stirring of passion … but there is an insurmountable obstacle: It is 1899, and Edna is a married woman. How can she pursue this romance? More importantly, how can she discover and keep her own independence from the morally repressive Victorian society?
Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening created a stir with its first publication in 1899, boldly narrating the stirrings of female passion and sensuality. This stage adaptation by Max Bush honors the spirit of Chopin’s work through the depictions of Edna and the women around her: idealized wife and mother Adele, independent and defiant Reisz, flirtatious and free Mariequeta. At the center of it all is Robert, the man responsible for inspiring Edna’s awakening but who refuses a life with her in the face of moral judgment. Ultimately, Edna makes a tragic choice that profoundly engages in the ethical question of women’s role in society.
The Awakening guide sections