Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Read All About It!

posted by Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup
Programming Manager for the Flynn Center

As a newbie staff member at the Flynn Center, I inherited a lot of cool projects that were begun by other Flynn folks—one of which is a partnership with the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington that connects works of great literature with our on-stage performances.

This is the second year of The Flynn Center/Fletcher Free Library Book Club and it's been a wonderful success, helping people to learn more about the artists that they will be seeing on our stages and also giving people in the community an opportunity to put their performing arts experience into context with other works of art. Sometimes the books that we read are direct analogs to the performance. For example, in February, the book club read Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre in preparation for the stage adaptation produced by The Acting Company. At other times, we might read work that is from the same geographic region as the performing artists, or work which has in some way influenced or inspired the artists that are coming to the Flynn. The most recent book club read Edwidge Danticat's Farming of Bones, about the ethnic cleansing of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic in the 1930s. This book, by a Haitian-American immigrant, deals with similar issues of identity and racism to fellow Haitian-American Marc Bamuthi Joseph's presentation of his spoken-word/hip-hop/theater piece Scourge, on the Flynn MainStage Friday, March 23 at 8 pm.

There are two more Flynn Center Book Club Meetings this year and we encourage you to attend them! Here are the details:

Wednesday, March 21 at 7 pm
in the Fletcher Free Library Community Room
The Works of Dr. Seuss

Remember Horton the Elephant and how he worked so hard to save the Who's down in Whoville? We'll be taking an adult look at three of Dr. Seuss' best loved works in the context of contemporary issues of war and society. This book club discussion connects to our family presentation of the musical Seussical! on Sunday, March 25 at 3 pm.

Reading List:

  • Horton Hears a Who
  • Horton Hatches the Egg
  • Gertrude McFuzz

Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30 pm
in the Fletcher Free Library Local History Room
The Works of W.B. Yeats

Yeats, one of the best-loved and most important poets of the early 20th-century, has been enormously influential in the realms of performing arts, literary criticism, psychology, political science and other fields. This discussion relates to Waters of Immortality and Other Works, the MainStage performance of dancer Maureen Fleming whose slow, sculptural, and stunning dance choreography was influenced by Yeat's work on the archetype of the sacred feminine.

Reading List:

  • At The Hawk's Well (1917)—play script


  • Adam's Curse
  • The Second Coming
  • Leda and the Swan
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Long Legged Fly
  • The Circus Animals' Desertion
  • Under Ben Bulben
  • Byzantium
  • Vacillation I
  • In Tara's Halls
  • A Dialogue of Self and Soul
  • To a Child Dancing in the Wind
  • The Cap and Bells
  • and, by Yeats' contemporary, W.H. Auden, the poem In Memory of W.B. Yeats
Copies of the readings for both book clubs are available at the library from Barbara Shatara in the Outreach Department. And, finally, if you go to the book club you can buy tickets to the related performances at a 20% discount. For more information on The Flynn Center/Fletcher Free Library Book Club, or to register, please call the library at 802-865-7211.

book cover credit: Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (Random House Books for Young Readers, 1954)

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Hi, I am interested in finding out how a chamber music ensemble could be considered for performances at the Flynn Center. Please contact me. Thanks! Ellen, www.percussia.org