The Friends of the Dover Public Library are once again pleased to host actor and stage performer Stephen Collins on Tuesday, November 20 at 7pm in the Library’s Lecture Hall. His one-man show, “Butterfly”, will focus on the life and times of New England native, James McNeil Whistler (1834—1903), the volatile American artist who struggled for personal freedom and artistic expression. Whistler was a leading proponent of the credo, “art for art’s sake”. Collins depicts Whistler at two phases of his life – first, as a bankrupt artist on commission in Venice in his forties, and then as the established, yet lonely, legend in his sixties in London.
The title of the play is drawn from the artist’s signature on his paintings, which was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol combined two aspects of his personality – his art, characterized by a subtle delicacy, and his public persona, which was combative. The portrayal ends with Whistler describing how he created his most famous painting, “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1”, commonly known as “Whistler’s Mother” – the revered portrait of motherhood.
Stephen Collins is a classically trained actor. He has performed twice earlier this year at the Dover Public Library as Walt Whitman, and, in a program on justice, as William Lloyd Garrison, John Brown Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Hardy.
He currently performs nine one-man shows and has received rave reviews for over a decade. Mr. Collins’ performances brings poets, artists, statesmen, and playwrights to life on the stage. Join us for this free theatrical performance at the Dover Public Library! For more information, call (603) 516-6050.