Sofonisba
by Callie Kimball I Directed by Dawn McAndrews I 
Sponsored by George & Elaine Keyes

Michelangelo’s 27-year-old apprentice, Sofonisba Anguissola, boards a ship from Italy to become the first female court painter for King Philip II. Her 20 years at the Spanish Court are one long chess match, played for and against the expectations of King, Bishop, Fool, Knight, and 14-year-old Queen. The negotiations and sacrifices she makes in service to her art and her heart reveal the dangerous waters of court politics for an unmarried, headstrong woman.

Schedule

Thursday, July 29, 7:30 p.m. (Preview Night)
Friday, July 30, 7:30 p.m. (Opening Night)
Thursday, August 5, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 7, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 8, 1:00 p.m. (Outside Cumston Hall)
Wednesday, August 11, 7:30 p.m. (*Winery Wednesdays)
Tuesday, August 17, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August, 19, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 21, 1:00 p.m.

*Winery Wednesdays will take place outside at WillowsAwake at 10 Leeds Junction Rd. Leeds, ME 04263

Want to find out more about TAM’s production of the Sofonisba? View the Pre-Show Discussion video on our YouTube channel to get an inside look at the making and importance of Sofonisba by Callie Kimball. Watch now!

Production Team

Dawn McAndrews
Director
Ty Bolduc
Asst. Stage Manager
German Cardenas-Alaminos
Set Designer
Jennifer Fok
Lighting Designer
Michelle Handley
Costume Designer
Melissa Nathan
Props Master
Kailey Pelletier
Stage Manager
Rew Tippin
Sound Designer

Cast

Amber McNew
Sofonisba

Reece Santos
King Philip/ Orazio

Michael Rosas
Fool

Henry Hetz
Bishop/ Don Francisco

Sophia Mobbs
Isabel

 

Time and Place: The Spanish Court of King Philip II, 1560-1571. And two ships, 20 years, and three lifetimes, apart.

Perhaps the most revolutionary (and the least well known) of the historical characters in our 2021 Revolutionary Redux Season is Sofonisba Anguissola. While there has never been a period in Western history in which women were completely absent in the visual arts, Sofonisba’s artistry and success blazed a trail (on her own terms) for greater numbers of women to pursue serious careers as artists. I have been aching to direct Callie Kimball’s Sofonisba since I first read it several years ago and am deeply grateful to her for the opportunity.

Kimball’s elegant and deeply human approach to Sofonisba’s story, full of both fact and some fiction, centers on the women: the child queen and the ambitious painter, educated by her father so she could make her way in the world independent of the encumbrances of a husband. Their brief friendship is the center of the story. Their deep love for each other changes them both and fuels the longing of the men that surround them.

Historian Whitney Chadwick wrote: “The first woman painter to achieve fame and respect did so within a set of constraints that removed her from competing for commissions with her male contemporaries and that effectively placed her within a critical category of her own.” The act of creation is a deeply person matter, both Sofonisba and Queen Isabel grapple with their purpose in life, to deliver a son and to matter to oneself.

Though resistant to the domesticity of taking a husband, Sofonisba did so twice. Once, at the urging of King Phillip. And the second time, to the ship’s captain who guided her journey to her third lifetime. Seven years after her death, on what would have been her one hundredth birthday, her husband placed an inscription on her tomb that reads, in part:

To Sofonisba, my wife … who is recorded among the illustrious women of the world, outstanding in portraying the images of man … Orazio Lomellino, in sorrow for the loss of his great love, in 1632, dedicated this little tribute to such a great woman.

Sofonisba herself once said, “Life is full of surprises, I try to capture these precious moments with wide eyes.” Thanks to the brilliance of Kimball’s words, I hope we have captured the quiet brilliance of Sofonisba and offered you a glimpse into her world through wide eyes.