Greenwich Library Presents a Spring Playwrights Series


Greenwich Library announces the return of Dr. Mark Schenker with a new Playwrights Lecture Series beginning on Thursday, March 15. Registration is limited. Be sure to mark your calendar and register online for each of the dates in the series, held from 7-8 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room – Thursday, March 15, Medea; Wednesday, April 11, Julius Caesar; and Thursday, May 10, A Streetcar Named Desire.

The first lecture will give patrons insight into one of the great Greek tragedies by Euripides. Medea is based on the myth of Jason and Medea and was first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the actions of Medea, a former princess of the barbarian kingdom of Colchis, and the wife of Jason; she finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for a Greek princess of Corinth. Medea takes vengeance on Jason by killing Jason’s new wife as well as her own children, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life.

This lecture will be held on Thursday, March 15 from 7-8 p.m. in the Meeting Room and is open to all at no charge, no registration required.

The second lecture is on the tragedy Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. This is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Although the play is named Julius Caesar, Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines as the title character; and the central psychological drama of the play focuses on Brutus’ struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship.

This lecture will be held on Wednesday, April 11 from 7-8 p.m. in the Meeting Room and is open to all at no charge, no registration required.

The third and final lecture will be on A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Williams is famous for three big plays: Glass Menagerie in 1944, A Streetcar Named Desire in 1947, and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in 1955. If The Glass Menagerie propelled Williams to fame, Streetcar ensured that his name would never leave the ranks of the playwright elite. The play, which tells the story of an aging Southern belle’s difficult relationship with her aggressive brother-in-law, was successful both commercially and critically. It opened in December of 1947 on Broadway and ran for over two full years, earning two Tony awards for the stage production and the 1948 Pulitzer Prize.

This lecture will be held on Thursday, May 10 from 7-8 p.m. in the Meeting Room and is open to all at no charge, no registration required.

Dr. Schenker has been at Yale College since 1990. He is currently a senior associate dean of the College and dean of academic affairs. A former lecturer in the English Department, he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University with a concentration in 19th-century and early 20th-century English literature.

Dr. Schenker has lectured on literature and film for over 25 years and has led book discussion series in more than 100 venues in Connecticut, including public libraries, museums, and cultural centers. For the past decade he has given programs on Shakespeare’s plays in conjunction with Shakespeare on the Sound. In 2001, he received the Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar, presented by the Connecticut Humanities Council.

This program is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions by generous donors. For more information, please contact Matthew Sgritta at msgritta@greenwichlibrary.org or 203-622-7972.

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