Dear Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth

by  Sarah Ruhl

Full Length Play, Drama  /  1m, 1f, 1m or f

A stage adaptation of the letters between poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.
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Dear Elizabeth

by  Sarah Ruhl

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 1f, 1m or f
  • Duration


    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre


    Adaptations (Literature), Biography
  • Accolades


    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

Based on the compiled letters between poets Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, Sarah Ruhl expresses the beauty in simple correspondence. Brought to life by reading Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, Ruhl maps the relationship of the two poets from first meeting to an abbrieviated affair and the turmoil of their lives in between.
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"Ms. Ruhl has excerpted [Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop's] long correspondence...with a fine ear for emotional detail and the glistening phrase." - The New York Times, Read More 

"...the language in the piece often soars, with the writing of even routine missives achieving a, yes, poetic quality... thanks to Dear Elizabeth, [Elizabeth Bishop] and Robert Lowell have come back to affecting life." - Hollywood Reporter, Read More 

"Ruhl delicately explores, through nothing more than the letters and her own theatrical imagination, the solitude of the artist, the exactitude of the writer’s craft, the balance between confession and privacy and, in the end, why poetry matters." - Variety, Read More 


  • Sarah Ruhl on Dear Elizabeth
  • Dear Elizabeth at Berkeley Rep
  • Behind the Women's Project Theatre production of Dear Elizabeth
  • Dear Elizabeth at Yale Repertory Theatre
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Aging, Friendship, Love, Memory


Performing Groups

  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre


  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £69 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.



  • Time Period: 1970s, 1960s, 1950s, 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Setting: A spare set, with two chairs.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


1m, 1f, 1m or f

ELIZABETH BISHOP - A woman, between the ages of forty and sixty
ROBERT LOWELL - A man, between the ages of forty and sixty

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Cast Attributes

  • Parts for Senior Actors





Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Orlando, Late: a cowboy song, Dear Elizabeth and Stage Kiss. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee. Her plays have been ...

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Dear Elizabeth premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT November 2012 under the direction of Les Waters.

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