Masciarotte Reading at Aldrich House

Gloria-Jean Masciarotte (Senior Lecturer, Literary Arts + Studies) will present her work on the research-text-to-performance draft for an eventual multimedia theater piece/film ofGetting Away With It…’: Lucy Aldrich’s Weekend with Chinese Bandits, which has been supported twice by RICH grants.

In 1923, on a sight-seeing and art collecting train trip in China, Lucy Truman Aldrich, the adventurous and iconoclastic oldest child of U.S. Senator Nelson Aldrich and the sister of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was kidnapped by Chinese bandits. Born deaf, Lucy’s well-to-do family cosseted her ‘disability’ by employing a companion who functioned as her voice and a lady’s maid whose main job was to sleep in Lucy’s immediate vicinity, acting as her ears in case of emergency. When kidnapped, Lucy was separated from these ‘crutches.’ However, she was not upset. In fact, she felt personally liberated. Lucy recorded this episode in an Atlantic Monthly essay with an ironic sense of freedom and a boy-adventure-gusto befitting an exploration novel by H. R. Haggard.

This premiere reading of the play about Lucy’s “Weekend with Chinese Bandits” written by Masciarotte and Vanessa Gilbert, dramatizes both Lucy’s full expression of her weekend and original research into the early 20th century debates around deaf identity, women’s art collecting, wealthy tourism and nationalist struggles in the Far East.

The reading is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so please RSVP to

May 17, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Aldrich House
110 Benevolent St.
Providence, RI

lucy truman aldrich

Department of Literary Arts and Studies, Gloria Jean Masciarotte, News

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