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Works by Helen Sheehy


New York Times Magazine "Lives" March 24, 2013


"Sentences" Under the Gum Tree Fall, 2021

Eleonora Duse. A Biography

A New York Times Notable Book of 2003
Benedict Nightingale New York Times Book Review:
ELEONORA DUSE is always riveting, frequently funny, sometimes touching, and at the end it is moving too. Who would have thought that thousands upon thousands of Americans would have filed past the Italian actress's coffin when it was moved to a church on Lexington Avenue, or that huge crowds would have watched it travel to the pier at 58th Street for its final journey to Naples? But then it was not just acting experts like Strasberg who worshiped Duse. One of the more unexpected tributes in this biography comes from Charlie Chaplin, who knew a few things about skill and feeling.

Her technique, he wrote, was ''so marvelously finished and complete that it ceases to be technique.'' And she combined that craftsmanship with a ''simple, direct 'child soul,' '' a heart ''that has been taught the lesson of human sympathy, and the incisive analytical brain of the psychologist.'' She was ''the greatest artiste I have ever seen.'' Yes, and thanks to Helen Sheehy, the greatest I have ever read about, too.

Eva Le Gallienne. A Biography

"An enthralling story" Richard Dyer, Boston Globe

"An extraordinary, deeply felt portrait" Blythe Danner

"A thoroughly engaging biography of an exceptional theatre artist. For any woman in or out of the theatre, Helen Sheehy's book is a treasure." Wendy Wasserstein

Margo: The Life and Theatre of Margo Jones

"Helen Sheehy's perceptive and sympathetic biography of Margo Jones makes abundantly clear the great debt all of us interested in the decentralization of the American theatre owe her." Horton Foote

"Exhilarating, funny, moving, expertly crafted." Mark Lamos

Articles, Essays and Other

“Behind the Scenes: New Orleans Opera, Opera News, March, 2016.

“Storyteller.” Opera News, February, 2015.

“Reunion: Harvey Schmidt.” Opera News, August, 2014.

“Twelve Words.” The New York Times Magazine, March 24, 2013.

With Leslie Stainton, On Writers and Writing. Desk Diary. 14 vols. Windsor, CT: Tide-mark Press, 1992-2010

“The Great Belasco.” Opera News, December, 2010.

“6 Dreams.” Lincoln Center Theater Review. Special Anniversary Issue,
#49-50. 2009-2010.

“Sher Touch. Opera News. November, 2006.

“I Remember Margo.” American Theatre. March, 2006.

“The Spy Who Loved Music.” Opera News. December, 2005.

“Eva Le Gallienne.” Notable American Women. A Biographical Dictionary, 2004.

“They Came From Chicago.” Opera News. August, 2004.

“Cosmopolitan.” Opera News. March, 2004.

“Nellie Melba. When Divas Ruled.” Opera News. November, 2003.

“The Man Who Loves To Be Hated.” Opera News. August, 2002.

“Time Traveling.” Opera News. May, 2002.

“Eva Le Gallienne.” Notable American Women. Volume Five

“La Duse in America.” Divina Eleonora nella vita e nell’arte. Venice: Marsilio, 2001

“Present Tense.” Opera News, June 2000

“According to Webster” Opera News, February, 1999

“Le Gallienne’s Legacy” Playbill, January-March 1999

“Missing Le Gallienne” American Theatre, January 1997

“Betting on Beane” Long Wharf Theatre playbill, December 1997

“Profile—Douglas Carter Beane” American Theatre, May/June 1998

“Profile—Margo Jones” Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas. Spring 1998

“Eva Le Gallienne” American National Biography

“Margo Jones” Handbook of Texas, 1994

“Margo Jones” and “Eva Le Gallienne”
Theatrical Directors: A Biographical Dictionary, Greenwood Press, 1994

“Mary Layne: The Lamos Connection,” American Theatre, July/Aug. 1989

“Yearning for the Other” Michigan Alumnus, June, 1989

“Oh, Boyg! Ibsen’s Peer Gynt” Connecticut Magazine, May, 1989

“Wings of Fortune” Connecticut Magazine, August, 1989

“A Loving Treatment” New York Times, October 23, 1988

“Six Theatres and How They Grew” American Theatre, October, 1987

“A Daughter Remembers” New York Times, May 20, 1986

“Wilder’s Notations of the Heart” American Theatre, May, 1984

“Art for Theatre’s Sake” Dramatics, November, 1983

“C.P. Taylor” Playbill, Lincoln Center, 1983-84


SPARKS, presented in a staged reading at the National Arts Club, New York, March 2007, in a production by Pat Addiss under the direction of Ludovica Villar-Hauaser. SPARKS also won the TRU Voices New Play Competition and was one of three plays presented at the historic Players Theatre in New York on June 18, 2007.


1998-2002 Judging panel for Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays.

Amherst College, Lecture on Art of Biography and Eva Le Gallienne February 1997.

Dallas Museum of Art, Margo Jones Lecture. April 1997

Bushnell Lecture Series: “The Women Who Played the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”, April 1998
Keynote Speaker for the 2003 Connecticut Book Awards.

Edith Wharton’s The Mount Distinguished Lecture Series – 2004 and 2005.

“Stirring the Ashes: Writing Lives and the Writing Life.” Texas Christian University, 2008.

“Transforming Theatre: Eleonora Duse and the Art of Acting.” Dante Aligheri Society, Boston, 2009.

Also lectured at Lincoln Center Theatre’s Director’s Lab, Yale Drama School, CUNY, Italian Institute of Chicago, Westport Country Playhouse. Op-Ed essays for the New Haven Register, the New York Times, and others. Served as a consultant on “Sweet Tornado”, a television documentary about Margo Jones, which aired on PBS in early 2006. Currently serving as a consultant on “Touched by Duse,” a film about Eleonora Duse for L’Orage Productions.