family

The Academy of Music Theatre is mounting a new work by playwright Carol Carpenter entitled Sweet, Sweet Spirit on March 24th and 25th at 7:30 p.m.  The play addresses gay bashing and child abuse within a West Texas conservative family whose gay teenage son is beaten into a coma by his father.

Carpenter takes her audience deeper into an exploration of a family struggling with their own fear and heart.  The son, Tyler, who is described as “different,” but not referred to by his family members as gay, affects each of the members of this Southern Christian family in disparate ways.

We are joined Debra J'Anthony, Academy of Music Theatre's Executive Director and Sheila Siragusa, director of Sweet, Sweet Spirit.


  Off-Broadway at The Laura Pels Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company is currently presenting Steven Levenson’s If I Forget. The play is the latest in Roundabout’s ongoing devotion to producing new plays by young playwrights with bold creative voices. Levenson is the acclaimed writer of Dear Evan Hansen and Roundabout’s The Language of Trees.

 

The show is directed by Daniel Sullivan and co-stars Kate Walsh. Walsh is best known for her television role as Dr. Addison Montgomery first on the Shonda Rhimes helmed hits, Grey’s Anatomy and then its spin-off, Private Practice.Walsh began her acting career in Chicago where she studied at the renowned Piven Theatre Workshop. She went on to star in multiple theater productions at the Shakespeare Repertory. She’s worked primarily in film in television in recent years and joins us now to discuss If I Forget and what about it made her want to get back on stage.

If I Forget runs through April 30th. 13 Reasons Why premiers on Netflix on March 31st.

Erika Christakis is an early childhood educator and school consultant. She has written a new book, The Importance of Being Little.

In it, she explains the challenges of being a little kid trying to navigate a system designed by and for adults, with high-stakes academic curricula and stringent schedules. 

The good news is that young children are hard-wired to learn in any setting, and tools to improve preschools are within reach of any parent and educator. The book offers a road map to giving children what they really need. 

Raquel D'Apice is a humor writer and founder of the popular blog The Ugly Volvo.

Welcome to the Club is a refreshing spin on the baby milestone book. Instead of a place to lovingly capture the first time baby sleeps through the night, this book shows what it's like the first time baby rolls off the bed/sofa/changing table, leaving mom or dad in a state of pure terror (it happens).

These 100 rarely documented but all-too-realistic milestones—such as "First Time Baby Says a Word You Didn't Want Her to Say"—provide comfort, solidarity, and comic relief for new parents.

When Stéphane Gerson’s eight year old son, Owen, died in a rafting accident, he found himself in uncharted territory. In the weeks that followed, he started to write about life without his son. Eventually, those writings took shape as the new book, Disaster Falls: A Family Story. 

Caroline Leavitt’s new novel, Cruel Beautiful World is about coming of age in 1969; about wild love, rebellion, and finding oneself in the time of Woodstock and the Manson murders.

The novel is a haunting, nuanced portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.   

When feminist writer Susan Faludi learned that her 76-year-old father ― long estranged and living in Hungary ― had undergone sex reassignment surgery, she was set on an investigation that would turn personal and urgent.

How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known, the photographer who’d built his career on the alteration of images?

  On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.

For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?

These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible.

In The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America's Greatest Political Family, William J. Mann presents a modern revisionist biographical history of one of America’s greatest and most influential families—the Roosevelts—exposing heretofore unknown family secrets and detailing complex family rivalries with his signature cinematic flair.

Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon – who won the Pulitzer Prize for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – delivers his latest, Moonglow, a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure. 

Tara Clancy was raised in three wildly divergent homes: a converted boat shed in working class Queens, a geriatric commune of feisty, Brooklyn-born Italians, and a sprawling Hamptons estate she visited every other weekend.

This childhood triptych comes to life in her new memoir, The Clancys of Queens.

  In Raising Human Beings, internationally renowned child psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of Lost at School and The Explosive Child Ross W. Greene Ph.D. explains how to cultivate a better parent-child relationship while also nurturing empathy, honesty, resilience, and independence.

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. His latest novel, Here I Am, is set in present-day Washington, D.C., where a Jewish family goes through a domestic crisis, while at the same time, a geopolitical crisis unfolds on the other side of the world.

  As the adage goes: home is where the heart is. This may seem self-explanatory, but none of our close primate cousins have anything like homes. Whether we live in an igloo or in Buckingham Palace, the fact that Homo sapiens create homes is one of the greatest puzzles of our evolution.

In Home: How Habitat Made Us Human, neuroanthropologist John S. Allen marshals evidence from evolutionary anthropology, neuroscience, the study of emotion, and modern sociology to argue that the home is one of the most important cognitive, technological, and cultural products of our species’ evolution. It is because we have homes—relatively secure against whatever horrors lurk outside—that human civilizations have been able to achieve the periods of explosive cultural and creative progress that are our species’ hallmark.

  Jennifer Weiner is many things: a #1 "New York Times "bestselling author, a Twitter phenomenon, and an unlikely feminist enforcer (The New Yorker). She's also a mom, a daughter, and a sister; a former rower and current cyclist; a best friend and a reality TV junkie. In her first foray into nonfiction, Hungry Heart, she takes the raw stuff of her personal life and spins into a collection of essays on modern womanhood.

Jennifer Weiner will be interviewed live on stage by Elaina Richardson of Yaddo at Congregation Shaara Tfille in Saratoga Springs, NY on Sunday, October 16 at 1:00 p.m. in an event presented by Northshire Bookstore.

Outside Mullingar, a play by John Patrick Shanley - the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Doubt – brings us on a journey to the farmlands of Ireland. It is now playing through October 16th at Capital Rep in Albany.

Outside Mullingar is the story of an unlikely romance between two rural, middle-aged neighbors: Anthony, an introverted farmer and Rosemary, the woman who vows to have him – at all costs.

This morning we meet two of the cast-members - Kenneth Kimmins has a major Broadway/West End resume, with stints in The Music Man and the New York and London companies of Company. On television, Ken spent nine years as series regular Howard Burleigh, on Coach. He was also being a semi-regular on Lois And Clark.

Laurie O’Brien has extensive television and film resume includes work on CSI, CSI: Miami, Detroit 1-8-7, ER, and NYPD Blue

  The regional premiere of the Donald Margulies play Time Stands Still opens tonight and runs through October 15th at the Curtain Call Theater in Latham, NY.  

After barely surviving a bomb blast in Iraq, photojournalist Sarah Goodwin finds herself caught in a tug of war between her career and the quiet of domestic life.

Returning home into the care of her long-time lover, James, Sarah is caught off-guard by James’ desire for family and by the simple domestic life pursued by Richard, her editor, and his much younger girlfriend, Mandy. Two of the cast-members join us this morning – Amy Lane and Tom Templeton. 

Listener Essay - The Van

Sep 1, 2016
The Van
Diane Kavanaugh-Black

  Summer is on its way out. In this listener essay, Diane Kavanaugh-Black writes about a vital companion on her childhood summer journeys, and a relationship that lasted twenty-five years.

THE VAN

In my family growing up, there was me, Mom and Dad, Vera, Mae and Alex. And The Van.

A turquoise 1964 Dodge A-100 cab-over-engine truck—the 49th off the assembly line, purchased by my parents eleven months before I was born. Mom called it “Bessie” until the van’s age and appearance earned it the nickname “Trusty Rusty.”

  Award winning stage and screen actress Mary-Louise Parker’s new book - Dear Mr. You – shows the singular arc of her life through letters composed to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today.

Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers.

  In the heart of the Ottoman Empire as World War I rages, Stepan Miskjian’s world becomes undone. He is separated from his family as they are swept up in the government’s mass deportation of Armenians into internment camps. Gradually realizing the unthinkable—that they are all being driven to their deaths—he fights, through starvation and thirst, not to lose hope. He dons disguises, outmaneuvers gendarmes, and, when he least expects it, encounters the miraculous kindness of strangers.

The Hundred-Year Walk alternates between Stepan’s saga and another journey that takes place a century later, after his family discovers his long-lost journals. With his journals guiding her, Dawn Anahid MacKenn grows ever closer to the man she barely knew as a child.

  Many childhood summers, Mark Woods piled into a station wagon with his parents and two sisters and headed to America's national parks. Mark’s most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks.

On the eve of turning fifty and a little burned-out, Mark decided to reconnect with the great outdoors. He'd spend a year visiting the national parks. He planned to take his mother to a park she'd not yet visited and to re-create his childhood trips with his wife and their iPad-generation daughter.

But then the unthinkable happened: his mother was diagnosed with cancer, given just months to live. Mark had initially intended to write a book about the future of the national parks, but Lassoing the Sun grew into something more: a book about family, the parks, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.

  In 2000, while moving his household from Vermont to North Carolina, David Payne watched from his rearview mirror as his younger brother, George A., driving behind him in a two-man convoy of rental trucks, lost control of his vehicle, fishtailed, flipped over in the road, and died instantly.

Soon thereafter, David’s life hit a downward spiral. His career came to a standstill, his marriage disintegrated, and his drinking went from a cocktail-hour indulgence to a full-blown addiction. He found himself haunted not only by George A.’s death, but also by his brother’s manic depression, a hereditary illness that overlaid a dark family history whose roots now gripped David.

Barefoot to Avalon is Payne’s earnest and unflinching account of George A. and their boyhood footrace that lasted long into their adulthood, defining their relationship and their lives.

  On August 12th, Matthew and Gunnar of NELSON will take the stage at Daryl's House Club in Pawling, NY to remember their late father who, among other things, had the first number one hit on Billboard with “Poor Little Fool.” Additionally, between 1957 and 1973, the Rock and Roll pioneer, Ricky Nelson, had 53 songs on Billboards Top 100 with hits like “Travelin Man” “Believe What You Say” and “A Teenagers Romance.” Ricky’s flair for rockabilly, natural ability to sing heartfelt ballads, and familial connection to the popular television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet allowed him to become a pop icon who received a Golden Globe nomination while co-starring with John Wayne in Rio Bravo.

As the youngest of the only rock and roll dynasty in history to have number one hits for each generation, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson bring their triple platinum selling talent to honor their father in "Ricky Nelson Remembered" - a multi-media and live music tribute.

Carolyn Parkhurst has explored different aspects of family and suburban life in her three previous novels, Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found, and The Nobodies Album. Her fourth novel, Harmony, traces how a family copes with a special-needs child.

The Hammonds of Washington, D.C., are rapidly outgrowing the city’s resources for helping their oldest daughter. Tilly may be a genius, but she’s also socially alienated and increasingly hard to control. Unsure even of a diagnosis, the family heads to New Hampshire to try unconventional treatment, an experiment which tests all the Hammonds in unforeseen ways.

Mississippi plantation owner, the cantankerous Big Daddy, is celebrating his 65th birthday. His family has returned for the occasion, including his favorite son, the masculine Brick, and Brick’s wife, the lonely and longing Maggie.

Brick and Maggie’s strained marriage plagues Big Daddy’s mind, and he demands answers to why they haven’t given him a grandchild yet.

However, Big Daddy’s family holds a powerful secret, and an ulterior motive as to why they have returned to the plantation. The families’ troubled relationships and emotional lies become exposed in the timeless American treasure by Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as part of their season this summer. The show opened on Saturday after a few previews and runs through July 16th.

We are joined this morning by Rebecca Brooksher and Michael Raymond-James – who play Maggie and Brick on BTG’s Fitzpatrick Stage.

  Colm Tóibín is one of Ireland’s foremost living novelists and journalists. His most recent novel is Nora Webster, which the Los Angeles Times said “may actually be a perfect work of fiction.”

He also wrote the novel, Brooklyn, which was made into a successful film nominated this year for an Oscar for Best Picture. 

Listener Essay - My Rock

Jun 21, 2016

  Jackie Mercurio lives with her husband, five children, and black Lab in New York. She is a freelance writer and editor, who teaches at Concordia College and the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute.

My Rock

When I plant flowers near my grandfather's grave, my trowel strikes rock, and I think of the many years I have planted flowers right here in this very spot and have never encountered it. I dig around the stone. I scoop it from the earth. I roll it onto my hand. The rock is smooth and round, slightly smaller than my open palm, and with my index finger I brush away dirt, wondering if it's been buried here all along, the same three decades as my grandfather.

  On November 29, 2007 Joseph Luzzi's life forever changed. His wife, Catherine, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, was killed in a car crash.

Before she died, doctors delivered their daughter, Isabel. His new memoir is In A Dark Wood. It tells the story how he dealt with his grief in part through the writings of Dante.

  Author Kathryn Harrison's new book, True Crimes: A Family Album, is a collection of essays is about her own family. It covers many topics, including being a survivor of incest and coming to terms with one of the worst crimes that happened to her, perpetrated by her own father.

Kathryn Harrison has written 15 books - biographies, novels, essays - but is best known for her 1997 memoir, The Kiss, which is her account of the affair she had with her estranged father when she was 20 years old.

And while the experience affected her in unimaginable ways, she went on to an acclaimed literary career, and she built a full life for herself. She has a loving husband and three kids. Her new collection of essays, True Crimes: A Family Album, explores those other dimensions of her life.

  Best known of award-winning New York Times and Newsweek columns, Anna Quindlen returns with her eighth novel, Miller's Valley. 

The setting is a farming valley in Pennsylvania during the height of the Viet Nam War. Outside influences like the war and a government plan to flood the valley affect the lives of one family - and the community.

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