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‘No Single Body for Me to Follow’ nostalgic embrace of people and things long gone


Ghostbird Theatre Company kicks off its eleventh year with its production of Fort Myers playwright James Brock’s original new play No Single Body for Me to Follow on November 9, 10 & 11 at the home studio of local artist Mariapia Malerba. Brock wrote the play as a set of bittersweet sketches using the British novelist Virginia Woolf and her siblings as characters, at least at the start.

In Brock’s poem-play, the Stephen children, Thoby, Vanessa, Adrian and Virginia, have gone upstairs to get ready for family tea, perhaps, after playing with the neighborhood dog Pepper and after setting up a stage to rehearse a new theatrical for their parents and select guests. It’s a puppet show! And Stella, the eldest, is considering a marriage to a much older man.

“For me,” Brock says, “the characters were shadows, and so I let them be shadows: sometimes definite, sometimes blending into another identity, and sometimes being the actors themselves. I also took my cue from Woolf herself who described in her journals that her most ambitious novel, The Waves, was a play-poem. That’s what I wanted to make with this script.”

The play celebrates temporal beauty, with a nostalgic embrace of things and people long gone. But it’s also whimsical, with a children’s puppet play in the middle.

“Yes, that part of the play has a real plot!” notes Brock. “But it’s mostly about these individual passing moments—it’s really my reaction to the pandemic and the aftermath of Ian—where shadows and simple objects are freighted with the greatest meaning.”

The play features veteran Ghostbird performers Tatum Bates, Adrianna Martinez and Brittney Brady, as well as Brock, with Alex Adams and Chloe Chan making their Ghostbird debuts.

Adams has written the music for an original song, which she will be performing.

Artistic Director Barry Cavin is designing and directing the play.

The venue is the home studio of Malerba, whose single artist exhibit Moving Roots is currently showing at the Alliance for the Arts through October. Malerba has collaborated with previous Ghostbird productions, including making a display dress for their production of “3” in 2019.

“This location,” says Barry Cavin, “is a place we’ve long planned to do a production—it’s an honor to be in this amazing studio right on the Caloosahatchee. This artist space is elegant and minimal, spiritual and beautiful, reflecting Mariapia’s own art and her generosity.”

Audience seating will be provided, but it’s also likely you’ll be sitting on the floor. Mind you, this is a private residence, without restroom access, but the run-time of the show is than 75 minutes. Parking is available alongside the studio space. Access to the studio is via an inside stairwell.

Ghostbird and Brock received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Florida Division of Arts & Culture to develop the play, and it is supported by additional funding from the City of Fort Myers.

“These grants,” says Cavin, “do outwardly affirm the value of our work. But it’s always about us doing work good enough for our community, who’ve come to expect something different, strange, and magical about a Ghostbird production. And virtually all the grant funds go to support our contributing artists directly.”

Tickets are $20 general admission and $7 student. Seating is very limited—as with most Ghostbird productions, the premium is on intimate theatre. The play is suitable for audiences 16-years-old and older.

Tickets, information, and directions are available on-line at However, there will be no on-site ticket sales, and so you must purchase tickets on-line. Seating is extremely limited! General admission is $20. Students get in for just $7 with valid ID.

October 22, 2023.

N.B.:  The Malerba Studio is located at 3457 E. Riverside Dr., Fort Myers, FL 33916.

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