Ashley Bishop, daughter of veteran Hewitt-Trussville High School French and English teacher Beth Bishop, becomes Zelda Fitzgerald, tormented wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, in William Luce’s play “The Last Flapper,” which opens this weekend at the Birmingham Festival Theatre.
The theater website says, “Spend a few hours of March 10, 1948, with Montgomery’s Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald in Asheville, North Carolina. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s muse and spouse, Zelda, is exciting, original, witty, talented, and tormented. She’s brilliant and unpredictable. This is the real Zelda, not the legend. And that’s the more interesting.”
The play covers the last few hours of Zelda’s life on March 10, 1948, and the audience goes with Zelda as she talks about life with her beloved Scott. The play, based almost entirely on Zelda’s own words, reveals a woman talented and brilliant in her own right, but a woman who lived in the shadow of her larger than life husband.
These revelations come as Zelda speaks to the audience, to the absent psychiatrist, to her long-dead parents, and to the younger Zelda, played by Elizabeth-Anne Ronk.
Bishop graduated from the Alabama School of Fine Arts, the University of New Orleans, and earned her Masters at DePaul University in Chicago. She was deeply involved with Chicago theatre for over 15 years as was her husband, Marty Higginbotham. They have moved back to Birmingham and are excited about “celebrating their Birmingham homecoming at BFT.”
The show dates and times are: June 20, 21, 22 at 8 p.m.; June 23 at 2 p.m.; June 27,28,29 at 8 p.m. at Birmingham Festival Theatre located in Five Points South.