Dallas theatergoers may be in for a treat this winter. Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of the novel, A Woman of Independent Means, is hoping to bring the stage version of her work to Dallas. The novel, her first, was a best seller when it hit the stands in 1978. The story follows an independent-and therefore unusual-woman from childhood through old age during the early 20th century.
The stage version, featuring a one-woman cast, was in production outside Los Angeles for several weeks this fall. Since the California production, which featured actress Barbara Rush, was just a trial run, critics didn’t “officially” analyze the work. Several critics did show up, however, and they were favorably impressed with the play.
Hailey says that because the story is set in Dallas and because she is a Dallas native, she hopes the official opening will be here. Several local producers, including Kjehl Ras-mussen of the Plaza Theatre in Snider Plaza, are toying with the idea. Rasmussen flew to California last month to see the production. He says that the idea is exciting because Hailey is “from our own back yard” and adds that local film producer Martin Jurow is interested in co-producing the Plaza production. Rush is planning to go on the road with the show.
After Dallas, Hailey hopes to take the production to several other American theaters before going to London, where one producer has already approached her about opening it in a theater in the city’s West End.
Hailey has completed a second novel, Life Sentences, and is currently working on her third book.