LANESBORO — The age-old advice for aspiring authors and playwrights is “write what you know.”
So when Catherine Glynn sat down to write a new one-woman play, it’s not surprising that play turned out to be about a teacher.
“I come from a family of teachers,” Glynn, of Lanesboro, said. Her mother, aunts and sister are all teachers. “I’m a teacher. I’m an actor and a teacher,” she said.
From that realization, Glynn said, “Miss Myrna was born.”
Miss Myrna is the title character of Glynn’s new one-woman play, “Miss Myrna Davenport’s Poetry in Motion,” which will be presented Jan. 30, Feb. 5 and Feb. 7 at the St. Mane Theatre in Lanesboro.
Miss Myrna Davenport is described as a “renegade” substitute teacher. The grade level of her students is not absolutely necessary, although they appear to be junior-senior high school age. But what Miss Myrna imparts to her pupils and how she does it — that’s at the heart of Glynn’s play.
“How we all affect other people’s lives and how we unconsciously borrow from others,” Glynn said by way of explanation. “I’m hoping in the telling of her story that everyone can relate to some part of her story.”
Glynn, a former company member at the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, turned to Miss Myrna after completing a tour last year with the one-woman show “The Belle of Amherst,” about poet Emily Dickinson. She wanted to do another one-woman show but couldn’t find one with affordable rights fees.
Then, she decided, “There’s a show inside of me waiting to be written.”
Glynn herself has been a teacher, at the college level, where she taught in the University of Texas Theatre and Dance Department. She also obviously has been a student, having earned two master’s degrees.
For that reason, she said, “There are elements of pieces of my life and other things I picked up along the way,” in Miss Myrna’s story.
And while this play is a one-woman performance, it does include six characters. Plus, the audience becomes part of Miss Myrna’s classroom. “I interact with the audience and treat them as students,” Glynn said.
If you go
What: “Miss Myrna Davenport’s Poetry in Motion,” by Catherine Glynn
When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 and Feb. 5, and 1:30 p.m. Feb. 7
Where: St. Mane Theatre, 206 Parkway Ave. N, Lanesboro
Tickets: $18, or $15 for members of Lanesboro Arts, at www.lanesboroarts.org and by phone at 507-467-2446.
All three performances will be followed by a Q & A session with Glynn. An opening-night celebratin will be held following the Jan. 30 performance at the High Court Pub in Lanesboro. A coffee talk session about the play will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 6 upstairs at Community Grounds Market in Lanesboro.