All are welcome to bring work-in-progress to share with the group for feedback. The group is facilitated by J.D. Scrimgeour, Professor of English, Salem State University.
Last fall, we considered the plays of Arthur Miller, one of the two greatest American playwrights of the mid-twentieth century. In this fall’s 7-week course, we will examine the work of the other great playwright of this period: Tennessee Williams. While Miller’s realistic plays were rooted in the industrial North, Williams’ expressionistic dramas seemed to be thoroughly Southern.
Upon closer examination, we discover that Williams’ plays constitute a much broader critique of post-war America with its ambivalent attitudes towards class, success, sexuality, and outsiderness. As a technical innovator, Williams was the true master, as even Miller had to concede. Through an examination of his life, his recorded conversations and published essays, we will also learn how Williams transformed his life experiences into bold dramas; how he felt about the American theater in his time, the price of fame, the critical reviews he received, and the filmed adaptations of his works. On several occasions, we will view filmed versions of the plays in class.
Plays to be considered are:
The Glass Menagerie (1944)
A Streetcar Named Desire (1949)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)
Orpheus Descending (1957)
Suddenly Last Summer (1958)
Sweet Bird of Youth (1959)
Night of the Iguana (1961).
More than just a ghost story, this is a portrait of a young nation struggling to separate fact from fiction. Manseau details the trial of William H. Mumler, the “spirit photographer” who claimed he could take pictures of the souls of the dead, along with the battlefield exploits of Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, the fathers of photojournalism who created frauds of their own. These stories offer a view of our nation’s obsession with the afterlife and our reluctance to choose science over fantasy.
Following the talk, books will be available for sale and signing.
Reservations are strongly recommended. Admission is $5 and free for members of the hosting organizations.
The event is hosted by Harmony Grove Cemetery, the Salem Athenaeum, and the Salem Historical Society.
What’s your medium? Every writer searches for the right format to tell their own stories in. During this interactive discussion, talk with a working poet, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and more about the challenges and benefits of their chosen medium, how they got there, and how to find your own voice as a writer.
The Art of Counterpoint: from Bach to Zelenka
CSEM’s 2017 season begins with two of the great High Baroque masters–J. S. Bach and Jan Dismas Zelenka. These two musicians knew and admired each other, and worked in close proximity: Bach in Leipzig, Zelenka in Dresden, just 100 miles away.
Formed in 2013, Kleine Kammermusik is dedicated to bringing to life the wealth of music from 17th- and 18th-century Europe. With paired treble woodwind instruments (oboe and recorder) and supportive continuo group of mixed woodwind, string, and keyboard, the group comprises a versatile blend of instruments suited to music from a wide range of contexts: from vivid outdoor celebrations and military fanfares to intimate chamber works. Each member of the group is a leading exponent and holds prominent posts in early music ensembles across the North East of the U.S.A. Together they bring superb artistry and a high level of virtuosity to music full of dazzling surprises and beguiling charm. In addition to being fine virtuoso players in their own right, the members of Kleine Kammermusik have developed an intuitive approach, and their musical rapport produces performances of superb artistic control and unmistakable elegance.
Donald in Wonderland
How Trump Took the News Media Through the Looking Glass
NPR analyst and Boston University mass communication professor John Carroll talks about the role of journalism in a post-fact political universe.
For six years prior to joining the BU faculty, Carroll was the executive producer of Greater Boston, WGBH-TV’s nightly news and public affairs program. He was also a radio commentator for WGBH-FM, and a correspondent for WGBH-TV’s Beat the Press, a weekly media review program.
During his television career, Carroll has won nine New England Emmy awards, mostly for news writing and commentary. He is also the recipient of the RTNDA’s National Edward R. Murrow award for writing, and a three-time winner of the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism.
Previously Carroll was a commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and On the Media, as well as American Public Media’s Marketplace. He has also been a columnist for the Boston Globe and Adweek.
His blogs include: https://campaignoutsider.com/, https://itsgoodtoliveinatwodailytown.com/, http://sneakadtack.com/
La Tertulia is a group of members interested in keeping their Spanish speaking skills in practice. They meet on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.
The Incessant Pipe Poetry Salon will meet on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm upstairs in the Salem Athenaeum. “The Pipe” is a space to read poetry, yours or others, and discuss everything from the price of tea in China to quantum particles (as long as it relates back to poetry). All styles of poetry are welcome.