In the final act of Our Town, Emily Webb takes her place in Grover's Corners' cemetery, among several other citizens who had passed since 1901. Noticeably absent are faces of color. Is this an omission on Thornton Wilder's part or a representation of a time in America when even cemeteries were segregated? Crystal Reynolds, PhD, will provide insight into the hidden history of African American burials, examine African American burial practices, and look at three notable African American cemeteries and burial grounds across the United States.
In Our Town, choirmaster Simon Stimson suffered from alcoholism in isolation. Hiding addiction still happens today, but communities can combat the shame of dependency by having open, honest conversations about causes and treatments. In The Anonymous People, director Greg Williams begins this conversation by exploring a criminal justice system that favors incarceration over treatment, a news media that exploits addiction to entertain, and the belief that substance dependence is a moral failure instead of an illness. After the film, Issy Hyde, board member of the Wabash Valley Recovery Alliance, will discuss local community resources that aim to help with addiction recovery. This film is rated Mature. 88 minutes.
Join in the discussion of this year's Big Read book: Our
Town: a Play in Three Acts by Thornton Wilder. This story, which at first
glance seems to tell a simple story of small town people, is considered to be
one of the greatest stories from the first half of the 20th century.
Light refreshments will be provided.
This month's inspiration will be the 2020 Big Read selection, Our Town, as well as scenes from Terre Haute painted by local artist Peter Bruning. Peter's son Vincent will present a brief talk about his father's art and legacy. Paint abstract buildings from a supplied photo or feel free to bring your own image to paint.
Make memories now and save pieces of the past in a time capsule to open in the future. Write letters, record family stories, and add other items to help future generations learn about you and life in your town. One time capsule will be provided to each family who registers.
Arthur Feinsod, Professor of Theater and University Honors at Indiana State University, will present the NEA Big Read 2020 keynote. Dr. Feinsod will discuss Thornton Wilder's career and how he created the theatrical style of his most famous play, Our Town, in its written form and its original 1938 performance as directed and produced by Jed Harris. Scenes from the play will be performed by local actors to illustrate key points covered in the presentation.
All Ages: Be inspired by Thornton Wilder's three-act play Our Town and show off your theater skills. Direct your own puppet show or wear costumes for an imaginative night of playing pretend while munching on theater snacks at this drop-in event.
Travel to Grover's Corners with veteran actor-director Paul Newman, who returned to Broadway after a four-decade break for this early 21st century revival of Thornton Wilder's classic play Our Town. As the Stage Manager, Newman introduces characters, sets the scene, and leads the audience through day-to-day life in a small town at the turn of the 20th century. Originally produced at the Westport Country Playhouse, Our Town was filmed at the Booth Theatre and is part of the PBS Masterpiece series. Rated PG. 120 minutes.
In the early twentieth century, gender roles impacted the citizens of Grover's Corners in every aspect of their lives. More than a century later, women's roles have expanded, yet women are still underrepresented in leadership positions. Laura Merrifeld Wilson, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Indianapolis, will discuss how historical expectations for women still affect their participation in government roles today. Dr. Wilson, a specialist in gender politics, campaigns and elections, and state government, will share her research on women's roles in politics and how historical assumptions about women's work impact female representation in government. She will also discuss changes that society should make to encourage more women to run for office.
Celebrate the women who are making history in the Wabash Valley. This year, honor Sister Barbara Battista, a physician's assistant, social justice advocate, feminist, and Justice Promoter for the Sisters of Providence. Battista will share the crossroads of her experiences and discuss how she is living a life of service with her faith community.