Leigh Curran on Beatrice Wood

“Your life is your greatest work of art.”

A rebellious girl and free-thinking woman Beatrice Wood was an American sculptor and ceramicist. Known as the “Mama of Dada” she collaborated with Marcel Duchamp and Henri-Pierre Roché early in life before turning her creative soul to pottery where she gained worldwide renown for innovation and inventing spectacular never-before-seen glazes. Leigh Curran tells the story of “Beato” her neighbor and mentor who told young Leigh she was the "witch who flew past the moon at Halloween.” Beatrice Wood inspired characters in two films: Jules et Jim and Titanic. Give a listen to the story of this wild, free woman.

Our storytellers share these astonishing women with us conversationally and unscripted; we fact-check afterwards and note any major discrepancies for accuracy.


Leigh Curran

Leigh Curran is a writer/performer and from 1991-2013 was the Founder/Artistic Director of the Virginia Avenue Project, a non-profit using long term Theatre Arts mentoring to give underserved children life skills. Leigh began her career as an actress appearing on, off and way off Broadway, on TV and in films. In 1978 she began writing plays. Her first, “The Lunch Girls,” was directed by Arvin Brown at the Long Wharf Theatre and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. It was later produced Off-Off Broadway with Stuart Ross directing. “Alterations” was produced at the WPA Theatre Off-Broadway, directed by Austin Pendleton and featured Cynthia Nixon and Gretchen Cryer. “Walking the Blonde” was directed by Paul Benedict at Circle Rep at and later by Leonard Foglia at La Mama in NYC. Leigh’s solo show, “Why Water Falls” was produced in LA and NYC in 2015/16 directed by Mary Pat Gleason. Her first novel, “Going Nowhere Sideways,” was published by Fithian Press. Her one-acts have been produced in NYC, LA and Melbourne, AU. “Body Beautiful, ” her most recent endeavor was in the Fountain Theatre’s FemFest in January, 2019 and was workshopped – also at the Fountain Theatre, the following June.

Featured Woman

Beatrice Wood

Beatrice Wood was an American ceramicist dubbed the “Mama of Dada” because of her affiliation with the Dada movement and artist Marcel Duchamp. She gained celebrity for her pottery, especially for her unusual lustreware, and inspired a character in the book and film Jules et Jim, as well as the 101-year-old Rose character in the film Titanic. At 90, Beato wrote her autobiography, “I Shock Myself.” When asked about her longevity, she said, “I owe it all to art books, chocolate and young men.”