life

Roslyn Ruff (Berenice) - THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING  By Carson McCullers  Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch  Williamstown Theatre Festival  August 5 - 19
Carolyn Brown / Williamstown Theatre Festival

Carson McCullers’ “The Member of the Wedding,” directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, is running on the Main Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival through August 19.

Set in the South on the eve of a family wedding in 1945, housekeeper Berenice Sadie Brown tries to calm the nerves of her 12-year-old charge, Frankie, a tomboy - lonely and uncertain - struggling to feel a part of something.

McCullers novel was published in 1946 and the author adapted the story for the stage where it opened on Broadway in 1950.

Roslyn Ruff plays Berenice Sadie Brown. Ruff’s an accomplished television, film, and stage actress with Broadway credits that include “Romeo and Juliet” with Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, and “All the Way” with Bryan Cranston.

Caroline Elton is an occupational psychologist who has spent the last twenty years training and supporting doctors. She received her PhD from University College London's School of Medicine and set up and led the Careers Unit supporting doctors in over seventy hospitals across London.

In "Also Human," Elton introduces us to some of the distressed physicians who have come to her for help: doctors who face psychological challenges that threaten to destroy their careers and lives, including an obstetrician grappling with his own homosexuality, a high-achieving junior doctor who walks out of her first job within weeks of starting, and an oncology resident who faints when confronted with cancer patients.

Tommy Orange and book cover for "There There"
Author Photo - Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange’s powerful and urgent Native American voice has exploded onto the landscape of contemporary fiction. His debut novel, “There There,” interweaves the experiences of twelve people who gather in Oakland for a pow wow. It is a multigenerational story about violence, recovery, hope, and loss.

Richard Sennett is the author of "The Craftsman," "The Fall of Public Man," and "The Corrosion of Character." He teaches urban studies at the London School of Economics and at Harvard University, and is a senior fellow in Columbia University’s Center for Capitalism and Society. For thirty years, he has directed projects under the auspices of the UN that aim to guide urban development in the twenty-first century.

"Building and Dwelling" is Sennett's definitive statement. In this sweeping work, he traces the anguished relation between how cities are built and how people live in them, from ancient Athens to twenty-first-century Shanghai. He shows how Paris, Barcelona, and New York City assumed their modern forms; rethinks the reputations of Jane Jacobs, Lewis Mumford, and others; and takes us on a tour of emblematic contemporary locations, from the backstreets of Medellín, Colombia, to the Google headquarters in Manhattan.

Larry Ruhl’s new book, “Breaking the Ruhls,” is a profoundly personal account of the impact of complex trauma on a man’s life. Larry’s father sought comfort from his only son, blurring critical boundaries that would prove deeply debilitating. Larry’s mother, with her spiraling, ever-changing mental illness kept the family in a constant state of anxiety.

James J. Sexton is a trial lawyer with two decades of experience negotiating and litigating high-conflict divorces.

In his new book, "If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together," he uses his years of experience and observation to reverse engineer relationships and to identify and fix what does not work.

Whether married, single, widowed, divorced, with children or without, at some point women inevitably ask the question, "What's next for me?"

Amy Nobile and Trisha Ashworth create a road map for how to embrace and thrive in this new phase of life in their book, "Just When You’re Comfortable in Your Own Skin, It Starts to Sag: Rewriting the Rules to Midlife."

Best-Selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, after her own battle with cancer, is now against the preventative care that is supposed to prolong life and guarantee health. It may sound suicidal, but Ehrenreich claims most of the medical tests she is urged to take fall short of the “evidence based” standard she requires to go to the hospital and undergo unpleasant and intrusive procedures.

In her new book, "Natural Causes: An Epidemic Of Wellness, The Certainty Of Dying, And Our Illusion Of Control," Barbara Ehrenreich tackles the politics of women’s health care, watching average Americans become fierce advocates for pointless diets, unnecessary procedures and checkups, and an unhealthy amount of exercise without the full knowledge of how flimsy the science behind those practices really is. Is control over our bodies even possible?

The feminist icon & author of "Nickel and Dimed" holds a degree in cellular immunology and uses it to great effect as she topples the institutions & customs that guide our attempts at living long, healthy lives.

Daphne de Marneffe, PhD, is a psychologist and the author of "Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life." In her clinical practice, she offers psychotherapy to couples and individuals. She teaches and lectures widely on marriage, couple therapy, adult development, and parenthood. 

In her new book, "The Rough Patch: Marriage and the Art of Living Together," she explores the pushes and pulls of midlife marriage, where an individual's need to develop can crash headlong into the demands of a relationship.

Rachel Simmons is the author of "Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives," and the New York Times bestsellers "Odd Girl Out and "The Curse of the Good Girl."

As an educator, Rachel teaches girls and women skills to build their resilience, amplify their voices, and own their courage so that they live with integrity and health.

Janice Kaplan has enjoyed wide success as a magazine editor, television producer, writer, and journalist. The former editor-in-chief of Parade magazine, she is the author of thirteen popular books including the New York Times bestseller "The Gratitude Diaries."

She and Dr. Barnaby Marsh (an expert on risk taking) have written the new book "How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life."

Using original research, fascinating studies, and engaging interviews, Kaplan and Marsh reveal the simple techniques to create luck in love and marriage, business and career, and health, happiness, and family relationships.

For many today, retirement and the leisure said to accompany it have become vestiges of a slower, long‑lost time. In a world where the sense of identity is tied to work and careers, to stop working often is to become nobody.

In this "Last Works: Lessons in Leaving," Mark C. Taylor explores the final reflections of writers and thinkers from Kierkegaard to David Foster Wallace. How did they either face or avoid ending and leaving? What do their lessons in ending teach us about living in the time that remains for us?

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion at Columbia University and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and NPR.

The Mystery Of Sleep

Feb 28, 2018

We spend a third of our lives in bed, but how much do we really understand about how sleep affects us? In the past forty years, scientists have discovered that our sleep (or lack of it) can affect nearly every aspect of our waking lives. Poor sleep could be a sign of a disease, the result of a vitamin or iron deficiency, or the cause of numerous other problems, both sleeping and waking. Yet many people, even medical personnel, are unaware of the dangers of poor sleep.

Enter Dr. Meir Kryger, a world authority on the science of sleep, with a comprehensive guide to the mysteries of slumber that combines detailed case studies, helpful tables, illustrations, and pragmatic advice.

The book is The Mystery of Sleep: Why a Good Night's Rest Is Vital to a Better, Healthier Life.

"Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting" was conceived when Patricia Nugent realized, at her mother’s funeral, that she knew very little about her mother’s life before her mother was her mother. She’d never asked; her mother had never offered. Nugent deeply regretted missing the opportunity to know her mother more fully. To inspire other families to share personal histories, she compiled this anthology of real-life stories about women before they were mothers.

In addition to deeply evocative first-person accounts, "Before They Were Our Mothers" offers readers a personal glimpse of world events from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, as written in that moment by current-day descendants. We are joined by Patricia Nugent (editor), Sue Van Hook (author) and Crystal Hamelink (author). There will be a reading from the book at Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY on Thursday, February 15 at 7 p.m.

Former White House social secretaries Lea Berman, who worked for George and Laura Bush, and Jeremy Bernard, who worked for Michelle and Barack Obama, have collaborated on the book "Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life."

Their daily experiences at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue taught them valuable lessons about how to work productively with people from different walks of life and points of view. These Washington insiders share what they’ve learned through first person examples of their own glamorous (and sometimes harrowing) moments with celebrities, foreign leaders and that most unpredictable of animals - the American politician.


  If you look for it - you can find a lot of pretty swell life advice in musicals. For instance: you gotta get a gimmick, don’t throw away your shot, and whenever you feel afraid - hold your head erect and whistle a happy tune.

 

Tim Federle’s new book, available from Running Press, shares advice he’s learned not from the lyrics in shows - but from performing in musicals on Broadway, around the U.S. and abroad. Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like A Star features chapters entitled “Be a Good Scene Partner,” “Go Where the Love Is,” “Put on a Happy Face,”  and 47 others for a total of 50 tips pulled from years of theater experience.

 

Federle is the best-selling author of cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin and the novels Better Nate Than Ever and The Great American Whatever.

Adam Gopnik’s new memoir, At the Strangers’ Gate: Arrivals in New York, is a memoir that captures the romance of New York City in the 1980’s.

The book is essentially a prequel to Adam’s bestseller, Paris to the Moon, and documents his early adventures in the 1980’s in NYC with his wife. 

Linada Lavin
Stephen Sorokoff

Linda Lavin is an American singer and actress. She is known for playing the title character in the sitcom Alice and for her stage performances, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway.

Linda Lavin will return to Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY on July 29 with “My Second Farewell Concert.” In the show, she recalls her roots in the theater, her love of American standards, Steely Dan, and a life-long obsession with the big bands of the 1940’s.

Listener Essay - Yearning

Apr 24, 2017

Debbie Slack enjoys hiking in CT, especially at Trail Wood, the home of Edwin and Nellie Teale, with her husband Bob and their two Labs. Besides exploring, Debbie loves when her four children and their families can spend time together. Presently Deb is on a mission searching for “the” literary agent to represent her novel, Henry Cooper and the Gutsy Girls. Deb believes there is value in everyone’s words and is leading the Writers’ Clinic in her home town of Tolland, CT. 

In her memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febos laid bare the intimate world of the professional dominatrix, turning an honest examination of her life into a study of power, desire, and fulfillment.

Abandon Me explores the bonds of love and the need for connection -- with family, lovers, and oneself. First, her birth father, who left her with only an inheritance of addiction and Native American blood, its meaning a mystery. Meanwhile, she remains closely tied to the sea captain who raised her, his parenting ardent but intermittent as his work took him away for months at a time.

Woven throughout is the hypnotic story of an all-consuming, long-distance love affair with a woman, marked equally by worship and withdrawal. Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer's life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal. Melissa Febos has two events in our region and joins us this morning.

In Josh Barkan’s Mexico: Stories  the characters - chef, architect, nurse, high school teacher, painter, beauty queen, classical bass player, plastic surgeon, businessman, mime - are simply trying to lead their lives and steer clear of violence. Yet, inevitably, crime has a way of intruding on their lives all the same.

A surgeon finds himself forced into performing a risky procedure on a narco killer. A teacher struggles to protect lovestruck students whose forbidden romance has put them in mortal peril. A painter’s freewheeling ways land him in the back of a kidnapper’s car. Again and again, the walls between “ordinary life” and cartel violence are shown to be paper thin, and when they collapse the consequences are life-changing.

Sophie Sabbage was forty-eight years old, happily married, and mother to a four-year-old daughter when she was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. Since that shocking diagnosis, she has been on a remarkable journey of healing and renewal that has reshaped her life—for the better. 

The Cancer Whisperer chronicles Sophie’s extraordinary relationship with cancer and the very effective methods she has used for dealing with her fear, anger, denial, and grief.

Best-selling author Ayelet Waldman’s new book, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life is her firsthand experience taking microdoses of LSD, the effect it had on her, and the ethical problems it presented.  To be clear: Ayelet did not drop a tab of acid; rather, she took a “microdose” (ten milligrams under her tongue) a few times each week for one month. 

What drove her to using LSD? It was perimenopause (and years of accompanying treatments with psychiatrists and psychologists, meditation, to little or no avail). When her mood storms became intolerable, she did what many of us do: she fell down an internet rabbit hole, eventually receiving a vial in her mailbox. Within a month, Ayelet joined the ranks of scientists and civilians successfully using LSD in therapeutic microdoses. 

Listener Essay - Killing

Jan 13, 2017
Tom Reichner

Patricia A. Nugent is the author of The Live On: Saying Goodbye to Mom and Dad, a compilation of poems and vignettes about caregiving for and losing a loved one. She also write the play The Stone and the Ripple, about a modern day reunion of the founding suffragists. At her home on Great Sacandaga Lake, she is currently plugging away at her manuscript about her golden retriever’s spirituality.

In her early 20s Leanne Jacobs seemed to have it all – the perfect job with a great salary, the husband, the house; but on the inside, she felt constant pressure to work longer hours and didn’t have the mental space to take care of herself or nurture her marriage. So she took her first step on the path to creating what she would call “Beautiful Money.”

In Jacobs’ new book, Beautiful Money: The 4-Week Total Wealth Makeover, she outlines her wealth creation program, which helps us align our personal values and lifestyle with their income and career. She shows folks how to tidy up our finances and pursue their own definition of success by mindfully redesigning their lifestyle and redefining their self-worth.

Leanne Jacobs has worked in sales and marketing for several Fortune 100 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Nike, DuPont, and L’oreal.

Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. Look around your office or home—at the tablet or smartphone you may be holding or the chair you are sitting in. Everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve.

In Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise.

Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor, writer, activist, and photographer.

In his new book, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams, he shares real life stories of late-night parties; backstage anecdotes; cross-country road-trips with his dog, Honey; and poignant memories of his life, loves, family, fellow actors, and friends. 

Victuals is an exploration of the foodways, people, and places of Appalachia. Written by Ronni Lundy, regarded as the most engaging authority on the region, the book guides us through the surprisingly diverse history--and vibrant present--of food in the Mountain South.

Victuals explores the diverse and complex food scene of the Mountain South through recipes, stories, traditions, and innovations.

  Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and National Humanities Medalist Krista Tippett has interviewed the most extraordinary voices examining the great questions of meaning for our time. The heart of her work on her national public radio program and podcast, On Being, has been to shine a light on people whose insights kindle in us a sense of wonder and courage. 
 
In Becoming Wise, Tippett distills the insights she has gleaned from this luminous conversation in its many dimensions into a coherent narrative journey, over time and from mind to mind.

Margaux Bergen began writing her new book when her daughter Charlotte turned nine and she gave it to her right after graduation from high school, when she was setting off for her first day of college.

In Navigating Life: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, Bergen shares her own lessons learned in hopes that her trials and errors might benefit her daughter as she set off for college and prepares to navigate life for the first time on her own.

Margaux Bergen has spent the last twenty years raising three children and working all over the world at large and small institutions focused on international development and women’s leadership.

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