The Heartwood Regional Theater Company will produce a staged reading this coming weekend of a new play by Nancy Steffen-Fluhr, PhD, associate professor in the department of humanities at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The play, Heartbreaker, a new dark comedy based on the life of the legendary Swedish tenor Jussi Bjorling (1911-1960), will be offered April 13-14, 2007, at the theater in Damariscotta, Maine. For more details, see http://www.heartwoodtheater.org.
“Bjorling was three parts artistic ecstasy and two parts Aquavit,” said Steffen-Fluhr. “And, like the man himself, the play is both fractured and luminous—a cross between Amadeus and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.”
Set in the summer of 1946 in the Stockholm archipelago, Heartbreaker pairs a hard-drinking, larger-than-life opera singer with a fastidious young male writer who has arrived to ghost the singer’s autobiography. Gradually drawn into the singer’s tumultuous world, the writer joins in an elaborate scheme to save the singer’s shaky relationship with his wife, a would-be diva whose desire for an orderly life coexists uneasily with her desire for desire.
Steffen-Fluhr, a resident of Newfoundland, Rockaway Township, teaches courses in gender and technology, science fiction and computer-mediated collaborative writing. She also serves as the director of NJIT’s Murray Center for Women in Technology. She is the first chair of NJIT’s Committee on Women’s Issues and author of NJIT’s 2005 Status of Women Faculty report. Her research interests explore the relationship between gender and technology as interdependent social constructs, with a special interest in how gender and sex are depicted in U.S. film and television. Steffen-Fluhr received her PhD from Brandeis University.