HarborSide Films Presents ‘The Four Mrs. Hemingways’ at Armenian Cultural Foundation


“Most people know of Ernest Hemingway, and many have read at least one book, The Old Man and the Sea, taught in most schools in the United States,” says playwright Robert Pushkar. “But not many know the importance of his four wives and the other women who shaped his life by providing inspiration, support, and love.”

The performance reading of The Four Mrs. Hemingways, an original play with music by Wakefield writer, photographer and playwright Pushkar and produced by HarborSide Films of Boston will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the Armenian Cultural Foundation, 441 Mystic Ave, Arlington MA.

President of HarborSide Films and producer Paul T. Boghosian believes “Hemingway was so much more than today’s public image of him. He had a roguish personality, and he could be endlessly charming. He was extraordinarily handsome and manly — especially as a younger man, and he was the brilliant pathbreaking writer of the 20th century. Women loved to be in his company. Both idiosyncratic and charismatic, he always was interesting and compelling to both men and women.

“I’ve been working with Robert Pushkar on this project for a number of years, and we feel we have cracked the Hemingway code. The play outlines the unique relationship he had with his accomplished wives. Independent thinkers, each had her own agenda and her own reasons for staying in love and married to him — until she couldn’t any further. Most interestingly and amusingly with wit and insight, the play showcases how the wives interacted with each other and revealed the true nature of the love of life they shared, and how Hemingway fit into it.”

In the play, Hemingway’s wives — Hadley, Pauline, Martha, and Mary — meet in an imagined dream space, each confronting her own past, fears, regrets, hopes, and unresolved conflicts, while individually interpreting her marriage to the same man. Each was an accomplished and independent woman in her own era, reflected in the cultural expectations and social mores of womanhood at the time. Three were journalists. Hadley was an accomplished pianist, though not a practicing one.

Fantastic, unsettling, and creatively imagined sequences are juxtaposed among realistic settings, which capture characters’ emotional truths. Marlene Dietrich, with whom the writer had a 27-year intimate correspondence, adds theatrical flourishes with songs which provide further narrative commentary.

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Directed by award-winning Boston-area director Steve Bogart, it features a stellar cast of leading talents of the Boston stage. “Robert has written a highly theatrical and imaginative play,” says Bogart, “that gives agency, recognition, and respect to the wives of the deeply complicated Ernest Hemingway. What emerges from the women’s complicated relationships is dignity, integrity, and compassion.”

The play trends with the public’s enduring fascination for historic biographical drama depicted in theater, film, and television. “I chose key moments, turning points, if you will, to examine the importance of relationships and their outcomes,” Pushkar says. “In his writing, Hemingway had an astonishing ability to forge characters from people around him. Everyone always wasn’t satisfied with his depictions, but they were forever immortalized in his works.”

Pushkar is an independent scholar in Hemingway studies and a founding member of the Hemingway Foundation and Society. Besides investigations at the Hemingway archives at the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, he has conducted primary research with Hemingway family, friends, and associates, including interviews with the author’s sole-surviving son, Patrick Hemingway of Bozeman, Montana.

The Armenian Cultural Foundation and the International Armenian Women’s Association (AIWA) join Harborside Films in this presentation.

A discussion with the playwright, director, and cast will follow the performance.

The suggested donation is $25 per person, and tickets are available at the door.  To reserve a ticket, please call the HarborSide Films office at (617) 484-9539 and leave your name, phone number, and the number attending. For more information: https://www.harborsidefilmsBoston.com/

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