Last Summer at Bluefish Cove
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove is a play by Jane Chambers. It is a landmark piece in Lesbian dramatic literature as the first mainstream play of its kind.
The play follows eight women over the course of one summer on the fictional Long Island seaside town of Bluefish Cove. Set amongst a cluster of beachfront cabins traditionally rented out each summer to the same group of lesbian women, Eva, a newcomer who has left Manhattan to get time away from her husband, is unaware of the sexual orientation of her summertime neighbors. Eva’s neighbor Lil, one of seven lesbians who are making their annual pilgrimage to the Cove, and the only single woman, is likewise unaware that Eva is straight. After some initial confusion and awkward introduction, Eva and Lil end up falling in love. However, Lil – not yet 30 years old - has cancer, and is not expected to last the year. By the time she chooses to reveal this to Eva, she has become quite ill, and dies before autumn.
The play focuses on the friendships and journeys of the eight women at Bluefish Cove, and was one of the first pieces of theatre to present lesbians as rounded, three dimensional characters, avoiding the problematic and homophobic tropes that had been necessary to portray queer stories on stage. Chambers' comedic dialogue, sensitivity to human nature and tender treatment of her characters help the play transcend preconceptions and show the universality of these women's journeys, whether straight or gay.
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