Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tropicante Brings Latin Beats To Washington College

Chestertown – The rich musical traditions of Latin America will come alive when Tropicante performs on the Decker Theatre stage in Washington College’s new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts on Tuesday, October 6, at 7 p.m. The performance is presented in celebration of Latino Heritage Month.

Tropicante gets the audience swinging and clapping to the Colombian cumbia, the Dominican merengue, the Venezuelan tambor, the Brazilian samba and other popular Latin beats. The ensemble’s lively concerts are sprinkled with first-rate musicianship, anecdotes and humor.

Tropicante will also hold workshops for faculty, staff and students on the origins and development of Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian Music, in Gibson 204 on October 6 at 5 p.m. Seats are limited for the workshop; those interested in attending should RSVP to dparker2@washcoll.edu by Friday, October 2

Tropicante’s appearance at Washington College is presented by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Department of Music. Admission to the performance is free and open to the public.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jewish Perspectives on the Environment Examined

Chestertown – Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin will lecture on “Caretakers of Creation: Jewish Perspectives” on Tuesday, October 13, at 10:30 a.m. at Emmanuel Church located at 101 N. Cross Street in Chestertown. The lecture is free and open to the public. Immediately following the program, discussion will continue over lunch in the Parish Hall. Lunch is $15 and reservations are required by October 7 by contacting jfairchild2@washcoll.edu or 410-778-7295.

Complementing Rabbi Cardin''s presentation, Dr. Gary S. Schiff, Cantor of the Chestertown Havurah and Adjunct Professor of History at Washington College, will speak briefly about the reflections of the concern for nature in Jewish liturgy and music.

Ordained in 1988 from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Cardin now serves as Director of the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network (BJEN) at the Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center. She is also an environmental activist and educator, an author, and a freelance sustainability consultant.

In 1978 Rabbi Cardin co-founded the Jewish Women’s Resource Center, which is now part of the National Council of Jewish Women—NY Section; and in the mid-1990s she co-founded the National Center for Jewish Healing and the New York Jewish Healing Center. She most recently served as General Consultant to COEJL, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (2007-2009).

Rabbi Cardin serves on the Boards of Chana, a Jewish organization that assists the victims of domestic violence, Hillel of Towson University, the Irvine Nature Center, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, and the Foundation of Spirituality and Medicine. In addition, she serves as the Community Educational Representative on the Baltimore County Sustainability Network, as well as on the OneMaryland Vision task force, a State think tank dedicated to developing a vision for a more sustainable state.

For five years Rabbi Cardin was the editor of Sh’ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility. She is the author of A Tapestry of Jewish Time: A Spiritual Guide to Holidays and Lifecycles, and Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope, a spiritual companion to infertility and pregnancy loss, among other books, writings and articles.

This program is presented by the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, the Chestertown Havurah, and the Chester Valley Ministers Association as the kickoff event of the “Caretakers of Creation” lecture series. The Reverend Allen LaMontagne, Rector of St. Paul's Parish, Kent, says the public forums will feature different faith perspectives in the context of the community’s relationship with the land. “Discussion will center on our role as people of faith in the care of creation,” he says.

'History On The Waterfront': New Chestertown Multimedia Walking Tour Debuts October 9

Chestertown – Revolutionaries and convicts. Slave traders and heroes of the Underground Railroad. All of them will soon be returning to the streets of Chestertown, thanks to a new multimedia walking tour of the waterfront area that debuts to the public on October 9.

The new program, "History on the Waterfront: A Journey into Chestertown's Past," has been created by Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, working with students, faculty and staff, and members of the wider community.

Major funding was provided by the Maryland Humanities Council and other organizations, which saw the project as a landmark opportunity to connect Chestertown's rich history to the larger stories of America, of the Chesapeake region, and of freedom and slavery in the 18th century.

The audio-guided tour, lasting approximately one hour, will begin at the home of the Starr Center, the c. 1746 riverfront Custom House. As participants stroll along the historic waterfront, they will hear music, reenactments, and firsthand accounts of life in the colonial port.

Exploring the inside of the Custom House, they will delve into the lives of past residents, including Thomas Ringgold IV, who was both a leader in the fight for colonial rights and, at the same time, a large-scale slave trader.

Other actual historical figures in the tour include Isaac Mason, a young Chestertown slave who escaped through the Underground Railroad.

Participants will have an opportunity to see one of Washington College’s most treasured artifacts, a 200-year-old painting of Chestertown, done by an anonymous artist a few years after the Revolution. One of the very few surviving depictions of an 18th-century Chesapeake landscape, and perhaps the richest in detail, the painting provides a unique visual entry point into the world the tour recreates.

"History on the Waterfront" was orchestrated by the Starr Center's associate director, Jill Ogline Titus, and narrated by the Center's director, Adam Goodheart. The Center's program manager, Michael Buckley, who also produces the weekly radio series "Voices of the Chesapeake Bay," oversaw the technical aspects of the production.

Students and faculty across several Washington College departments offered their talents to the creation of the tour, which showcases College and community expertise not just in American history, but in music, drama, and audio production. Those familiar with the local scene may make out several familiar voices, including that of Kent County’s beloved vocalist Karen Somerville.

The project, which will eventually include a web component and virtual tour, is funded by grants from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, and the PNC Foundation Legacy Project, with support from the Maryland Humanities Council.

“The tour will connect the evocative landscape of the Chestertown waterfront to the powerful stories of those who once populated it,” Titus said. “In so doing, it will offer visitors and residents alike an opportunity to deepen their sense of place. In walking in the footsteps of sailors, adventurers, and slaves three centuries gone, they will encounter the unique character and history of the Chesapeake region in new ways."

"One of the reasons we are especially excited about launching this program is that although Chestertown is so rich in history, there are relatively few opportunities for members of the public to explore it in any depth," Goodheart noted. "We hope that as people stroll through our town, this will give them new sense of the lives that were lived and the history that was made here."

Beginning October 9 and continuing indefinitely, “History on the Waterfront” will be available Friday afternoons from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the exception of College holidays. Reservations to take the tour at other times may be made by calling 410-810-7161; please check the Starr Center website at http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu before visiting. Tours begin at the Custom House, 101 S. Water Street, at the intersection of Water and High Streets. They are free of charge.

* * *

About the Starr Center

The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores our nation’s history – and particularly the legacy of its Founding era – in innovative ways. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, and especially by supporting and fostering the art of written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between past and present, and between the academic world and the public at large. From its base in the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown’s colonial waterfront, the Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students. Its guiding principle is that now more than ever, a wider understanding of our shared past is fundamental to the continuing success of America’s democratic experiment. For more information on the Center and on the Patrick Henry Fellowships, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

This project was made possible by a grant from the PNC Foundation Legacy Project with support from the Maryland Humanities Council. The Maryland Humanities Council is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the PNC Foundation, the Maryland Humanities Council, or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Authors Discuss ‘Civil War And Violence In Africa’ At Washington College

CHESTERTOWN – Two authors whose hard-hitting journalism has shed light on the African scene will convene for a panel discussion, “Civil War and Violence in Africa,” at Washington College’s Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, October 7, at 7 p.m.

The talk features Dr. Howard French, author of A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa, and Bill Berkeley, author of The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa.

The event is sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.

French is a former global-affairs columnist for The International Herald Tribune; former New York Times bureau chief for Central America and the Caribbean, West Africa, Japan, the Koreas and Shanghai; and a former Washington Post freelance reporter covering West Africa.

In its review of French’s A Continent for the Taking, Publishers Weekly enthused, “His strength as a reporter is evident as he takes the reader across the continent, recounting in vivid detail the genocide in Rwanda and the AIDS and Ebola outbreaks. His prose is evocative without being melodramatic in describing the suffering he saw.”

Berkeley, an investigative reporter for the New York Times is a former correspondent covering Africa, the Soviet Union and the Middle East for The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and the Washington Post.

Library Journal hailed Berkeley’s The Graves Are Not Yet Full as a “moving, disturbing work…. Berkeley combines his reporting experience with first-rate historical analysis in a beautifully written, powerful examination of contemporary horrors.”

The Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders, both in and out of government. The Goldstein Program has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of both national and international stature.

The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.

Lirenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to “Civil War and Violence in Africa” is free and open to the public.

Baltimore Sun Film Critic Michael Sragow Remembers Legendary Director Victor Fleming At Washington College

Chestertown – Academy Award-winning director Victor Fleming was one of the giants of Golden Age Hollywood, who in one year alone helmed two of the screen’s most enduring classics, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone With the Wind.” Find out more about this legendary filmmaker when Baltimore Sun film critic Michael Sragow presents a lecture based on his book Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master, in the Sophie Kerr Room at Washington College’s Miller Library on Monday, October 5, at 6:30 p.m. A booksigning will precede the talk at 6 p.m.

Sragow’s presentation comes as the highlight of Victor Fleming Weekend, a retrospective of the director’s works being screened as part of the 2009-2010 Washington College Film Series.

Sragow has written as a film critic and columnist for The New Yorker, The Atlantic and salon.com. He attended New York University and Harvard University, majoring in history and literature. Formerly a film critic for Rolling Stone and the San Francisco Examiner, Sragow has been reviewing movies for the Baltimore Sun since 2001.

When Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master was published in 2008, the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures raved that Sragow’s biography “restores the director to his rightful place in film history and popular culture. It’s a fantastic read, assiduously researched, using primary archival resources and a full complement of remembrances from Fleming’s family and colleagues.”

Admission to Sragow’s lecture, and to all screenings during Victor Fleming Weekend, is free and open to the public. For more information on Victor Fleming Weekend screenings, visit the events calendar at http://news.washcoll.edu/.

'33 Minutes,' Missile Defense Documentary, Screened At Washington College

Chestertown – The Washington College Republican Club will present a screening of the hard-hitting documentary “33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age” at Litrenta Lecture Hall on Sunday, October 4, at 7 p.m.

The one-hour film’s title refers to the alarmingly short amount of time – 33 minutes or less – that it would take for a ballistic missile from a foreign enemy to reach the United States from anywhere in the world.

The documentary puts forth the argument that, while America’s enemies are continually attempting to stockpile arsenals, the U.S. government has failed to match the gathering threat by building the missile defense systems capable of defending against such potential attacks.

North Korea is currently developing a long-range ballistic missile that could soon carry a nuclear warhead all the way to Alaska or California.

Iran already has missiles that can reach Europe, and could soon acquire nuclear weapons.

These countries could share their missile and nuclear technologies with terrorists, who would in turn be able to directly threaten New York City and other American cities with short-range missiles. 

“33 Minutes” asserts that the time has come to revive the strategic missile defense system that America uniquely can develop, maintain and employ. The technologies exist to do the job, and, as the film points out, building such a system would be affordable – costing no more than 3 percent of the total annual defense budget.



To underscore the urgency of the situation, the documentary highlights the disastrous consequences of a nuclear explosion on American soil – one that could happen in just 33 minutes.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to “33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age” is free and open to the public.

Two Actors, Many Roles: Washington College Stages 'Tick My Box' In Newly Opened Tawes Theatre

Chestertown – The Washington College Department of Drama will present the hilarious Irish play “Tick My Box” in Tawes Theatre on Friday, October 2, at 8 p.m.

Tawes Theatre is located in the newly opened Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts, a $24-million renovation and expansion of the original performing arts center built more than 40 years ago. “Tick My Box” is being presented as part of the Gibson Center’s gala opening ceremonies October 2 – October 4.

The production stars recent Washington College graduates Aileen Brenner and Dorothy Johnson in a constantly changing array of multiple roles.

Written by Iseult Golden, David Horan and Carmel Stephens, “Tick My Box” is a comedic look at the world of modern dating and relationships. It debuted to rave reviews at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2004 and went on to two successful national tours. The Dublin Evening Herald described it as a “brilliantly executed show … a small miracle.” The Irish Times declared, “It is rare that one gets to see so many moving and funny stories, crammed together into such a neat package.”

One room, one night and 40 strangers: It’s either a recipe for disaster or an evening with the potential to change a lot of people’s lives forever – or perhaps even both. Siobhán (Brenner) and Seámus (Johnson) have latched onto the current phenomenon of meeting new people at singles’ nights by organizing speed-dating events through a company called Tick My Box.

Themselves unattached, the pair seem to derive much pleasure from watching the antics of the strangers and serial speed-daters who walk through their doors each night (but maybe this is just a front to protect them from their own feelings).

On a minimalist stage, Brenner and Johnson bring the stories of numerous desperate, lonely and eccentric characters to life. The pair switch gender, accents and personalities repeatedly, relying solely on their body language and gestures to illuminate the various characters.

Admission to “Tick My Box” is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail drama_tickets@washcoll.edu. For more information about other events during the Gibson Center’s gala opening weekend, visit http://gibson.washcoll.edu/grandopeningcelebration.php.

Award-Winning Novelist Jeff Talarigo To Give Reading At Washington College


Chestertown – Award-winning novelist Jeff Talarigo will present a reading in the Sophie Kerr Room at Washington College’s Miller Library on Thursday, October 1, at 4:30 p.m.

The reading is presented as part of the 2009-2010 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series.

Talarigo is the author of the The Pearl Diver, which won the 2005 American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award and was named a 2005 Kiriyama Prize Notable Book.

Talarigo’s second novel, The Ginseng Hunter, noted as one of the “Best Books of 2008” by NPR and an American Library Association’s “Notable Books for 2009,” was released in paperback in April 2009.

After graduating from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Talarigo spent seven years working as a racquetball pro, magazine publisher, in a wood shop, and as a journalist.

From the 1990s to 2006 Talarigo lived in Kyushu, Japan, where he taught English and began writing fiction. He currently lives in Boston, where he is working on a novel about 20th-century Gaza as seen through the eyes of a Palestinian woman.

The work in progress is inspired by a three-month journey in 1990 that the author took by land from the Gaza Strip to Khartoum, Sudan, and back. This was Talarigo’s first stay in Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a place where he would return in 1993.

Talarigo’s work has been translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew and Korean.

The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College’s literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor”—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Upcoming Sophie Kerr Room readings will feature authors Dan Chaon (a National Book Award finalist) on October 13 and Debra Spark on November 12.

Admission to the Jeff Talarigo reading is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

Important Exhibition Of 19th-Century Landscape Art Opens At Washington College's New Kohl Gallery


Chestertown – “Second Nature: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Landscape Painting,” featuring seldom-displayed masterworks from some of the major artists of the period, opens at Washington College’s new Kohl Gallery on October 2 and will be on view through November 15.

The exhibition features 23 rarely seen paintings from a private collection, including artworks by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Frederic Edwin Church, Camille Corot, Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas Moran, Alfred Sisley and Thomas Worthington Whittredge.

The masterpieces constitute an auspicious debut for the College’s first-ever climate-controlled, secure exhibition space, the 1,200-square-foot Kohl Gallery, funded by Washington College parents Benjamin and Judy Kohl.

The Kohl Gallery is located in the newly opened Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts, a $24-million renovation and expansion of the original performing arts center built more than 40 years ago. The gallery and its inaugural exhibition are being unveiled as part of the Gibson Center’s gala opening ceremonies October 2 – October 4.

Sponsored by Brown Advisory, “Second Nature” was curated by Donald McColl, Nancy L. Underwood Chair in Art History, Chair in the Department of Art and Art History and Director of the Kohl Gallery at Washington College.

Dr. McColl was assisted by students in last spring’s Museum Studies class at the College, by Kohl Gallery Interns Colleen Kearins ’09, Erin Harrison ’09, Riley Carbonneau ’10 and Andrea Roth ’10, and by alumni of, and colleagues in, the Department of Art and Art History.

Though its origins are traceable to the Renaissance, landscape painting flourished in the 1800s as never before. Artists, increasingly freed from state or church patronage, catered to a growing system of galleries, dealers and collectors. Landscape, previously considered a minor genre, began to garner new respect, and evolved in tandem with a reverence for natural beauty, and a national pride felt by artists for the sweeping vistas of their respective homelands.

Artists in the exhibition not only documented rare and distant species, and made images so powerful as to spur the formation of America’s first national park, but also helped lift the spirits of those who were too ill to walk in nature, by creating a likeness of a spring flower or a lush field that could well outlast its subject.

Visitors to the “Second Nature” exhibition will see stirring examples from landscape painting’s apogee, including such works as Claude Monet’s “Le Val d’Antifer,” Thomas Moran’s “Tantallon Castle,” Jules Jacques Veyrassat’s “Scène de Forêt,” George Inness’ “Landscape with a Split-Rail Fence” and many others.

“Second Nature: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Landscape Painting” will open to the public on Friday, October 2, from 2 to 8 p.m. The exhibition will continue at the Kohl Gallery on Tuesdays through Saturdays through November 15.

Gallery hours are: Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays from 2 to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (The gallery is closed Sundays and Mondays.) A $5 donation is requested. Students will be admitted free of charge.

During the exhibition’s first week, viewing hours will be extended: Saturday, October 3, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday, October 6-9, from 2 to 8 p.m. For more information about other events during the Gibson Center’s gala opening weekend, visit http://gibson.washcoll.edu/grandopeningcelebration.php.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Poet Reads 'Wartime Address' At Washington College


Chestertown – Poet Maxine Susman will present a reading of her “Wartime Address” at Washington College’s Rose O’Neill Literary House on Tuesday, September 29, at 5 p.m.

 “Wartime Address” is a poem sequence based on the memoir of Jean Wetzel. It tells of her flight from Paris during World War II.

Dr. Susman is Professor of English at Caldwell College where she teaches poetry, literature and writing across the curriculum.

Her poems have appeared in several dozen journals and anthologies, including Paterson Literary Review, Colere, Ekphrasis, Earth’s Daughters, The Dogwood Journal, The Chesapeake Reader, Blueline, and forthcoming in Alehouse and Poet Lore. Her two other books of poetry are Gogama (2006) and Familiar (Fall 2009). She belongs to the performance group Cool Women.

Admission to the “Wartime Address” reading is free and open to the public.

Native American Net-Making Techniques Demonstrated

Chestertown – The Center for Environment & Society (CES) at Washington College will  present “Native American Net-Making and Other Prehistoric Fishing Technologies” by Dr. Bill Schindler as part of the Chestertown Waterfront Festival on Saturday, September 26, from noon to 3 p.m. in Wilmer Park.
Dr. Schindler, assistant professor of anthropology and archaeology at Washington College, says the migratory fish resource was very important to the prehistoric inhabitants of the Chesapeake Estuary. Accordingly, they developed a number of technologies to successfully procure them.
Many of these technologies will be displayed and demonstrated including:  primitive fibers and net-making techniques, bottle gourd floats, stone net sinkers, fish poisons, bone fish hook manufacture, and fishing weir.
The Waterfront Festival & Cardboard Boat Regatta is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.ces.washcoll.edu or call 410-778-7295.

Waterfront Festival Pays Tribute to the Chester River


CHESTERTOWN – Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society will present the annual Chestertown Waterfront Festival at Wilmer Park on Saturday, September 26, from noon to 5 p.m.
The festival features boating, sailing and kayaking on the Chester River, a cardboard boat race, a Native American fishing and artifacts display, exhibits on watershed ecology, a touch tank, crafts, good food, family activities and music along the scenic Chester River. 
“It combines a mixture of nautical recreation, maritime culture and live entertainment right in the historic district,” said event organizer JoAnn Fairchild.
This year the Chesapeake chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society will rendezvous on the river, with several wooden boats on display at the Wilmer Park bulkhead.
There will be fried fish and funnel cake by Rose Green, a guided canoe trip with Sultana Projects, and of course, the ever-popular carboard boat regatta.
With brave mariners climbing aboard and piloting their handmade crafts around a competitive race course, “The colorful cardboard boats are a real crowd-pleaser,” Fairchild said. “It’s always a surprise to see who captures the Cutty Sark prize for best engineering as opposed to the captain and crew that garners the Titanic award for most spectacular sinking.”
Admission to the Waterfront Festival is free and open to the public. Wilmer Park is handicapped-accessible and friendly pets on leashes are welcome. In case of foul weather, water-based activities will be cancelled but Chester River Runoff will perform under Lelia Hynson Pavilion.
The event is organized by the Center for Environment & Society, with sponsorship by Chesapeake Bank & Trust, Sultana Projects, Chestertown Marina, several local restaurants, and the Student Affairs Office at Washington College.
The Center for Environment & Society supports interdisciplinary research and education, exemplary stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and the integration of ecological and social values.
For a complete Waterfront Festival schedule and more information, go to http://ces.washcoll.edu/news/waterfrontfestival/index.php.
 

Tennessee Williams' Classic 'Glass Menagerie' Staged At Washington College's New Gibson Center

Chestertown – The Washington College Department of Drama will present Tennessee Williams’ classic drama “The Glass Menagerie” at Tawes Theatre in the newly renovated and expanded Gibson Center for the Arts on Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26, at 8 p.m.

“The Glass Menagerie” was the first stage success for Williams, who went on to become one of America’s most highly regarded playwrights. The drama premiered in Chicago in 1944, and in 1945 won the prestigious New York Drama Critics Circle Award.

The play is introduced to the audience by Tom Wingfield, who serves as both narrator and point-of-view as events unfold. The story is Tom’s recollection of his mother and his sister. The father abandoned the family years ago, and the mother remains stuck in the past. Tom works in a warehouse, doing his best to support the family. He chafes under the banality and boredom of everyday life and spends much of his spare time watching movies in cheap cinemas at all hours of the night. The mother is obsessed with finding a suitor for Tom’s sister, who spends most of her time obsessed with her glass collection.

Tom eventually plays matchmaker by bringing a co-worker home for dinner. The dinner guest at first seems like the ideal match for the sister, but things don’t always work out as well as hoped…

“The Glass Menagerie” is considered by many to be Williams’ most autobiographical play (before he was “Tennessee,” his real name was Tom), replete with the lonely mother and troubled sister who had been a part of the playwright’s home life.

The Washington College production of “The Glass Menagerie” is directed by senior Allison Valliant and features Katie Muldowney, Bethany Ackerman, Joe Rittenhouse and Brian Haluska. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail drama_tickets@washcoll.edu.

Author Presents 'Demystifying Book Publishing' At Washington College



Reading, Booksigning Also Slated

Chestertown – Author Irina Reyn knows the book business from both sides – as a writer and as an editor. She will share her insights with aspiring literary artists when she presents “Demystifying Book Publishing: A Publishing talk with Irina Reyn” at Washington College’s Rose O’Neill Literary House on Thursday, September 24, at 4:30 p.m.

Reyn, the 2009 Mary Wood Fellow at Washington College, worked in book publishing for several years. Her presentation will take the audience on a practical journey through the process of getting the written word from laptop or notebook and onto the bookstore shelves.

Initiated in 2007, the Mary Wood Fellowship is extended bi-annually to an emerging female writer. It is made possible by the continued support of author Mary Wood.

In addition to “Demystifying Book Publishing” on September 24, Reyn will give a reading, along with Washington College Students, at the Casey Academic Center Forum on Saturday, September 26, at 1:30 p.m. A booksigning will follow.

Reyn’s first novel, What Happened to Anna K., a bold reimagining of Anna Karenina in modern New York, was named one of the best books of 2008 by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly, and is described by Philip Lopate as a “witty, psychologically astute and immensely pleasurable novel.”

Reyn is editor of Living on the Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take on the Garden State and has published widely in One Story, Post Road, Tin House, Los Angeles Times, Town & Country Travel, The Forward, Nextbook, Ballyhoo Stories, San Francisco Chronicle, The Moscow Times and in several anthologies.

Born in Moscow, Reyn currently divides her time between Brooklyn and Pittsburgh, where she is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

Admission to both the September 24 talk and the September 26 reading is free and open to the public.

Washington College To Screen Lyme Disease Documentary

Chestertown – Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society will screen an award-winning documentary on Lyme disease, “Under Our Skin,” in Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, September 30, at 7 p.m.

A dramatic tale of microbes, medicine and money, this eye-opening film, hailed by the New York Times as “heart-rending,” investigates the untold story of Lyme disease, an emerging epidemic larger than AIDS.

As natural habitats and animal populations are impacted by humans, unintended consequences often result. Recent decades, for example, have seen a population explosion of deer and rodents in the forests of the eastern United States. Behind the scenes, they have been accompanied by many more ticks carrying Lyme disease, one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the country.

For anyone who spends time outdoors, Lyme and other tick-borne infections should be a cause for concern. The symptoms can be severe and debilitating, but diagnosis is not always easy.

Each year thousands of Americans go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, told that their symptoms are “all in their head.”

Following the stories of patients and physicians as they battle for their lives and livelihoods, the film brings into focus a haunting picture of our health-care system and its ability to cope with a silent terror under our skin.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the  John S. Toll Science Center. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Center for Environment & Society (CES) at Washington College at 410-810-7161 or visit www.ces.washcoll.edu.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Luminaries From Worlds Of Theater, Art, Music Honored At Washington College's 2009 Convocation



Event Formally Dedicates New Gibson Center for the Arts

Chestertown – Washington College’s annual Fall Convocation, scheduled for Friday, October 2, at 3:30 p.m., will take place in a very special, and very new, venue: the College’s just-completed showcase, the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts.

The Convocation ceremony and subsequent gala reception will mark the official dedication and public opening of the Gibson Center, a $24 million renovation and expansion of the original structure that was built to house the arts more than 40 years ago.

In its new incarnation, the Gibson Center for the Arts offers several venues in which students can learn, rehearse, practice, perform and exhibit their works, as well as all the latest tools and technology that support professional-caliber theaters and exhibition spaces.

The original 650-seat auditorium, now known as Decker Theatre, has been rescaled and configured to accommodate the addition of the Hotchkiss Recital Hall and the Tawes Theatre.

The renovation also facilitated the addition of the Kohl Art Gallery, an exhibition space fully equipped to mount major works of art, as guests will see during the gala opening-weekend celebration.

In keeping with the threefold functionality of the new facility, notable figures from the worlds of theater, art and music, the three disciplines taught in the new center, will be special guests and receive honorary degrees at Washington College’s Fall Convocation: Broadway director and scriptwriter Mark Bramble, art historian Linda Nochlin and Grammy-winning folksinger Tom Paxton.


Mark Bramble has been involved in the writing, directing and producing of stage musicals all over the world. He attended the McDonogh School, Emerson College and New York University, and began his theatrical career under the tutelage of David Merrick, for whom he worked on 20 Broadway productions.

As author, Bramble’s shows include Barnum, which introduced Glenn Close as a leading actress and garnered and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical in addition to 10 Tony Award nominations (including Best Book and Best Musical); 42nd Street, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical, the Laurence Olivier Award for Musical of the Year, the Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Musical, and other honors); and The Three Musketeers with the music of Rudolph Friml.

Bramble’s collaborations with Michael Stewart include The Grand Tour with songs by Jerry Herman, Treasure Island with songs by Jule Styne, and the off-Broadway opera Elizabeth & Essex based on Maxwell Anderson’s Elizabeth the Queen.

At the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, England, Bramble and Henry Krieger (composer of Dreamgirls) created Fat Pig, a rock-and-roll extravaganza about health. In London Bramble adapted and staged Notre Dame at Saddler’s Wells, and created the first radio musical, In With The Old, for BBC radio.

Bramble directed the 2001 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of 42nd Street on Broadway, as well as productions of the show in London, Sydney, Shanghai, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Vienna.

He is a member of The Dramatist’s Guild, The Society Of Stage Directors and Choreographers and The Association Of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers.


Linda Nochlin is the Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts/New York University, where she earned her doctorate in art history in 1963.

She previously served as Professor of Art History and Humanities at Yale University, as Distinguished Professor of Art History at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York and as the Mary Conover Mellon Professor of Art History at Vassar College, her undergraduate alma mater.

Nochlin is known widely for her work on Gustave Courbet—a painter of interest to her since embarking on her doctoral dissertation, as well as for her seminal publications on Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism and, notably, for her groundbreaking work to advance the cause of women artists, beginning as early as 1971 with her article, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”

Sparking a major development in art history and criticism, that early work led to the 1976 exhibition Women Artists: 1550-1950, which Nochlin co-curated with Anne Sutherland Harris for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the show was accompanied by the catalogue of the same title co-authored by both scholars.

Nochlin has written numerous books and articles focusing on social and political issues revealed in the work of artists from the modernist period to the present day. Her books – Representing Women, The Body in Pieces, Women, Art, and Power and The Politics of Vision have directed and expanded the dialogue among art historians on the nature of viewing and have broadened the scope of our interpretation of the role of art and artists in society.

Nochlin is a Contributing Editor of Art in America. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and of New York University’s Institute for the Humanities as well as the American Philosophical Society.

Tom Paxton ranks alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs in the pantheon of American folksinger-songwriters. Emerging from the thriving Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early ’60s, the prolific Paxton quickly made a name for himself, both as a performer and as a songsmith whose works proved wildly popular among fellow artists looking for quality material to cover.

The Chicago-born, Oklahoma-raised Paxton joined the Army Reserve in 1960 and ended up stationed in Fort Dix, New Jersey. While at college a few years earlier, he had cultivated a passion for folk music; so the Army reservist was soon spending his free time in New York City, performing at amateur-night hootenannies in Greenwich Village clubs and mingling with other rising stars of the folk movement.

The city became his home once his active duty was completed, and Paxton’s productivity flourished. The Chad Mitchell Trio gave him a big boost by recording one of his songs – the first of countless acts in the folk, country, pop and rock spheres to do so over the years.

In 1962 Paxton recorded his debut album, I’m the Man Who Built the Bridges. Forty-seven years and nearly 50 albums later, Paxton has continued to write, sing and record, serving up everything from trenchant commentary on current political topics, to expressions of love, to whimsical, popular children’s fare.

Many of Paxton’s songs have enjoyed enduring appeal, including modern standards such as “The Last Thing on My Mind,” “Bottle of Wine,” “Whose Garden Was This?” and “Ramblin’ Boy.”

Paxton’s compositions have been recorded by Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Harry Belafonte, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, John Denver, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, Willie Nelson, Flatt & Scruggs, and numerous others.

A perennial “global ambassador” of folk music, Paxton has performed thousands of concerts around the world – in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and all over the United States. His songs have been translated into various languages, and he enjoys a strong relationship with fans throughout the globe.

In 2009 Paxton received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the capstone to a whole host of accolades that have come his way over the course of a long and remarkable career.

In addition to the Fall Convocation ceremony, the gala opening weekend at the Gibson Center features events that bespeak the versatility of the region’s latest and greatest arts venue:

• The Washington College Department of Drama will present “Tick My Box” in Tawes Theatre on Friday, October 2, at 8 p.m.

• Musician Chad Stokes will headline a “Performers’ Showcase” in Decker Theatre on Saturday, October 3, at 8 p.m. Emceed by Comedy Central’s Kyle Cease (10 Things I Hate About You), the show features illusionist Mike Super, winner of NBC’s hit TV show Phenomenon; and poet Gabriela Garcia Medina, 2009 Spoken Word Performer of the Year. The event is sponsored by the Student Affairs Office.

• The 58th season of the Washington College Concert Series will commence with a performance by the Brentano String Quartet in Hotchkiss Recital Hall on Sunday, October 4, at 3 p.m.

• The Kohl Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “Second Nature: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Landscape Painting,” featuring seldom-displayed masterworks from some of the major artists of the period, will open and be on view through November 15. The exhibition is curated by Kohl Gallery Director and Underwood Chair in Art History Donald McColl.

For more information about the Gibson Center for the Arts and its gala opening weekend, visit http://gibson.washcoll.edu/grandopeningcelebration.php.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Exploring A Legendary Lode: 'Mile-High Fever' At Washington College


Chestertown – The Old West comes east to Chestertown when Dennis Drabelle, author of Mile-High Fever: Silver Mines, Boom Towns and High Living on the Comstock Lode, offers a talk and book-signing at Washington College’s Litrenta Lecture Hall on Monday, September 21, at 7:30 p.m.

The talk is presented by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Mile-High Fever is the rip-roaring, true saga of the Comstock Lode, the legendary silver-mining windfall of the late 19th-century American West.

The immense wealth extracted from the Lode spurred the growth of San Francisco, and Virginia City, the hell-raising town that sprang up above the mines, was the inspiration for the TV series “Bonanza.”

Innovations in Comstock mining—the use of underground “cubes” to avoid cave-ins and of elevators to bring ore to the surface—was adapted to make possible the modern skyscraper.

The boom also accentuated less positive themes in American history. Virginia City’s rapid growth created tension with the neighboring Northern Paiute Indians. The risks and expenses of deep mining lent themselves to stock-market manipulations and fraud on a grand scale.

To opportunists such as William M. Stewart, a mining lawyer and future U.S. Senator with a tenuous grasp of ethics, the Comstock experience confirmed that the West belonged to the crafty and the strong.

Perhaps the boom’s most lasting legacy, however, was the education it gave to a great American writer. In Virginia City, a young Mark Twain learned the value of plain but salty Western speech and saw how he might use the vivid reality of the frontier in the great books of his future.

In reviewing Mile-High Fever, Publishers Weekly enthused, “Drabelle introduces a vast cast of colorful characters as he explores how fortunes were won and lost, skillfully recreating the boom-and-bust atmosphere of this period in American history.”

Drabelle has written for The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Film Comment, Civilization and Smithsonian. He is a contributing editor for The Washington Post Book World and won the National Book Critics Circle's Award (1996) for excellence in reviewing.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to Drabelle’s lecture is free and open to the public.

About the C.V. Starr Center

The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores our nation’s history – and particularly the legacy of its Founding era – in innovative ways. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, and especially by supporting and fostering the art of written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between past and present, and between the academic world and the public at large. From its base in the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown’s colonial waterfront, the Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students. Its guiding principle is that now more than ever, a wider understanding of our shared past is fundamental to the continuing success of America’s democratic experiment. For more information on the Center and on the Patrick Henry Fellowships, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Acclaimed Environmental Author Discusses 'End Of The Long Summer' At Washington College


Chestertown – Environmental journalist and author Dianne Dumanoski will discuss her latest book, The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth, at Washington College’s Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, September 23, at 7 p.m.

The event is presented by the Center for the Environment & Society and the Chestertown Spy.

Dumanoski has been a pioneer in reporting on such issues as ozone depletion, global warming and the accelerating loss of species since 1970.

She has been a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT (1983–84), a fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism (1993), and a Yale University Poynter Fellow (2002).

She is the coauthor of Our Stolen Future, a seminal environmental work.  

In a sobering but realistic profile of the humanity's increasing negative impact on global planetary systems, Dumanoski's new book, The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth, makes a cogent and eloquent argument that "the radical experiment of our modern industrial civilization is now disrupting our planet's very metabolism."

Kirkus Reviews praised The End of the Long Summer as “a passionate, precise account of climate change and a persuasive strategy for dealing with ‘Nature’s return to center stage as a critical player in human history.’… Insightful. . . . Convincing.”

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to the talk is free and open to the public.

Bestselling Author Mary Gordon To Give Reading At Washington College


Chestertown – Bestselling novelist Mary Gordon will present a fiction reading in the Sophie Kerr Room at Washington College’s Miller Library on Thursday, September 17, at 4:30 p.m.

The reading is the first offering in “The Living Writers,” a fall program of visiting authors presented as part of the 2009-2010 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series.

Gordon is the author of several bestselling novels as well as short stories, memoirs, essays and criticism.

She is known for her investigations of Catholic family life, Catholic spirituality, thwarted love, moral struggle, personal sacrifice, female identity and family pain. In addition to her successful career as an author, Gordon is Millicent McIntosh Professor of English at Barnard College.

Gordon is often praised for her deep insights, lyrical writing, and what Los Angeles Times critic Ellen Akins called “her delicate rendering of the drama of consciousness.”

Recent books by Gordon include the biography Joan of Arc, the essay collection Seeing Through Places: Reflections on Geography and Identity, the novel Spending: A Utopian Divertimento, and the bestselling memoir of her secretive, tormented father, The Shadow Man.

Gordon’s latest novel, Pearl, is the the story of a single mother who sets out to prevent her daughter from killing herself in a hunger strike in Dublin.

The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College’s literary culture.

When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor”—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

“The Living Writers” will continue with Sophie Kerr Room readings by authors Jeff Talarigo on October 1, Dan Chaon (a National Book Award finalist) on October 13, and Debra Spark on November 12.

Admission to the Mary Gordon reading is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In Memoriam: Finn Caspersen

All of us at Washington College were greatly saddened to learn of Finn Caspersen's recent death. During the five years I have served at Washington College, I have been reminded almost every day of the enormous impact that support from The Hodson Trust has had on the health of this institution. Everywhere I look, I see buildings that could not have been built, students who could not have studied here, and programs that could not have flourished without Finn Caspersen's help. When Finn and the other members of the Board were on campus in June of 2007, I was proud to show them how the College has improved with The Hodson Trust's support.

To list everything that Finn Caspersen made possible for us would require many pages, but I would like to touch on just a couple of highlights. The Trust contributed to the establishment of three endowed faculty positions: The Hodson Trust Professor of Economics, the Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs, and the Joseph H. McLain Professor of Environmental Science. Finn Caspersen and The Hodson Trust assisted us in the construction of three major college facilities: Hodson Hall, the Lelia Hynson Boating Park, and the John S. Toll Science Center. The Trust helped us establish student scholarship endowments (as well as the Hodson Middle Income Loan Fund) including The Hodson Trust Merit Scholarships, The Hodson Trust Minority Scholarships, and The Hodson Star Scholarships. Under Finn Caspersen's leadership, The Hodson Trust invested in numerous signature College programs: the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows, the rowing endowment, and the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.


Washington College's first Hodson Trust Star Scholarship recipients gather with Finn Caspersen, Chairman of the Hodson Trust (left to right): Lance Corporal James H. Schelberg, USMC; Finn Caspersen; Corporal Charles P. Grigg, USMC; Wilhelm Gundlach, USA.

In 1999, Finn Caspersen announced that the College could use its annual distribution from The Hodson Trust to match, dollar for dollar, campaign gifts of $100,000 or more to endowment funds. At the conclusion of the Campaign for Washington's College, gifts for scholarship funds, internships, and endowed chairs totaling $11,443,443 were matched by The Hodson Trust, generating almost $23 million in new endowment.

The Hodson Trust Star Scholarship program, inspired by Finn Caspersen and established in 2007 as one of the first such initiatives in the nation, added impetus to the movement that ultimately led to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

It has been almost thirty years since Washington College awarded Finn Caspersen the honorary degree, Doctor of Humanities, on May 17, 1981. That award, the highest we can confer, was in recognition of service already rendered. His service over the past almost three decades has been just as extraordinary. We thank him, and we will miss him greatly.


Baird Tipson, President

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mark Nowak, New Director Of Rose O'Neill Literary House, To Give Reading At Washington College


Chestertown – The public will have the opportunity to meet the new Director of Washington College’s Rose O’Neill Literary House when poet Mark Nowak presents a reading at the Literary House on Tuesday, September 15, at 4:30 p.m. A reception will follow.

Nowak is a genre-blending poet whose work combines language, drama and photography in innovative ways. He comes to Washington College from St. Catherine University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was Associate Professor of Humanities and taught for 17 years.

Nowak is the author of three books of poetry, including Shut Up Shut Down (with an afterword by Amiri Baraka). Shut Up Shut Down was a New York Times “Editor’s Choice” and a finalist for Academy of American Poets’ James Laughlin Award.

Poet Adrienne Rich has hailed Nowak as “a poet of remarkable gifts,” who “is generating a new poetics of class.”

Described as a “documentary poet” due to his work’s journalistic approaches toward real-world issues, Nowak is most recently the author of Coal Mountain Elementary, a work that relates the mining disaster of Sago, West Virginia, to a variety of mining accidents in China. Howard Zinn characterized this book as a work that “manages, in photos and in words, to portray an entire culture, the culture of the miner and his family, and it is a stunning educational tool.”

Nowak’s work has been widely anthologized. He is one of a dozen poets to be included in American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics, and his work appears in An Anthology of New (American) Poets, Poets of the Great Plains, and America Loomed Before Us: Contemporary Poetry from the Other USA.

He is the founder and editor of XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics, a journal that was launched in 1997. Nowak will be relocatinng the journal with him to Washington College, where student interns will have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of academic periodical publishing by working with XCP.

Nowak’s teaching experience at St. Catherine University has been supplemented by his work teaching poetry and writing in alternative environments including the Twin Cities Ford Assembly Plant, the United Steelworkers of America, Stillwater Prison, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, and in public school outreach programs in Bowling Green, Minneapolis and Chicago.

“As incoming director of the Literary House, I’m eager to meet everyone in the Washington College community,” Nowak said. “And whatever your relationship to the word – be it as an aspiring graphic novelist, a spoken-word artist, a history student or historian trying to revise your next essay, or someone who just wants to spend a half-hour ‘talking books’ – I hope you’ll make the Rose O’Neill Literary House your destination.”

Admission to Nowak’s reading is free and open to the public.