Monday, 17 February 2014

Pitch Perfect

The sunshine of your love.
Full steam ahead. Business as usual.
Society beckons.

I cannot conceive of life without you….Sometimes,
think of the fun we had all thru the years.
                                       Helen Palmer 1899 - 1968

It remains to be seen how the other 20 or so playwrights pitch their plays on Wednesday evening but the time will be wasted if they simply stand and read from their scripts. As a fall-back position, I may have to do this but at present, I plan on representing three stages in Helen Palmer's life with Theodor Dr. Seuss" Geisel using one hat.

Several famous Dr. Seuss books feature hats. The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Returns, are two. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins is another. 

The play, The Unmarvellous Life of Dr. Seuss, is about the marriage of Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss, and Helen Palmer, a marriage and working relationship that spanned 39 years until he walked out on an ailing woman causing her such ineffable turmoil, she could find no release except to take her own life. 

So far, sounds like a downer of a play. However, there were the early years, the flowered hat years, in which love abounded and everything was wonderful. 

The middle years meant success beyond what could have been expected. The world opened their hearts and minds to the playful
rhymes, nonsense words and clever illustrations. Ted and Helen were the toast of the town. California loved them
But life let Helen down. In her early fifties, health concerns and the breakdown of her marriage caused her untold upset. The health concerns, she dealt with but when Ted became involved with another woman, Helen was bereft. 

Who knows if divorce was ever spoken of but it would seem not. The suicide note she left indicates that she thought that their friends and peers would be surprised at her passing and that he could say that she was overworked and overwrought as a reason for killing herself so that his reputation with his friends and fans would not be harmed.

Even unto death, Helen Palmer Geisel was gracious and loving.