BURKHART: Final Curtain Epilogue Page 1   2   3   4

epi'logue (ep'a-log) n. to say in addition, add: 1 a closing section added to a novel, play, etc., providing further comment, interpretation or information...

Citizen-Journal Article Published October 26, 1985

cj article

Burkhart, the original. shows off one of the many room corners in his Woodland mansion. This is what actor Don Moffat duplicated in his appearance as Burkhart.

Don Moffat in a favorite Burkhart pose, cigarette in hand, an approving smile of a painting just completed. Probably.

BURKHART: Final Curtain

The one-character play, I, Emerson Burkhart, had several script-in-hand "readings" in the 1970s. The only full-bore production took pace in October, 1985. Burkhart's disdain for most organized art groups was well documented. A bit ironic, but some 16 years after his death, his most scorned group produced the play in the ballroom of the Great Southern Hotel.
The production was in concert with the hotel's then management's opening of a fine fare dining room, the Thurber Room. I was pleased with the production, but, for some vague reason at the time, never understood the connection between Thurber and Burkhart. Much later it was explained to me that both were highly opinionated. That was writer Tom Thomson. He knew both.

Playing the one-man lead was Don Moffat, then a teacher in Columbus schools, but with a deep appreciation of both theater and Burkhart. Credit the casting and direction to Jean Ann Wolfe-Weaver. Credit costume and staging chores to Becky Linhardt, now a Cincinnati-based travel writer. Oh, proceeds went to the art league.

I thought Burkhart fans would like to see some of the images of that production...credit Jenifer Campbell.
=== Doral Chenoweth

Moffat as Burkhart in his studio...which was the Woodland mansion. Every room was a studio, per se. His copper covered wood box, right, held all sorts of props, among them a toilet seat which played a role with one of his extended stay visitors, painted as The Woman In Blue...name withheld. In their relationship, she abruptly departed one day and return weeks later. When she walked in, Emerson reacted as though she had just been to a carryout. After a few pleasant exchanges, she merely asked..."paint me blue." In the coming weeks she filled her time by doing her own art contributions. She painted the hand railing on the front steps, all the toilets seats in the house, the kitchen chairs and his table. All blue, of course.

Moffat as Burkhart on stage at the Great Southern Hotel ballroom. Many of the props including easels were borrowed from the then occupants of the Burkhart manse.

Moffat in costume, paint splatterd, on stage.

Moffat and his subject, one of Burkhart's self-portraits...one of the more refined ones as opposed to the many he described as ..."just cleaning my brushes." This setting was the final scene in the Great Sourthern production.

Moffat packs away his small stage props,
Great Southern Hotel ballroom,
August 1985.

Jean Ann Wolfe-Weaver, producer of the Burkhart play in behalf of the Art League...on the set designed by Becky Linhardt. All props were authentic, borrowed from friends of Burkhart.

Epilogue Page 4

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