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Roger Rosenblatt welcomes friends for week on literary arts to kick off Chautauqua Institution season

June 27, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

CHAUTAUQUA - Chautauqua Institution's nine-week morning lecture series in the Amphitheater begins Monday, June 25 with a series of conversations on the literary arts titled "Roger Rosenblatt and Friends on the Literary Arts."

Renowned author, essayist and playwright Rosenblatt will be joined on stage by seven accomplished writers throughout the week, continuing a Chautauqua tradition of popular conversations hosted by Rosenblatt in recent years. The informal conversations will cover the process of writing with nothing less than the banter and storytelling that has come to be expected from Rosenblatt and his fellow writers. During this first week of the Chautauqua season, the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture Series explores "Reclaiming the Bible in a Non-Religious World" with retired Episcopal Bishop of Newark John Shelby Spong.

Rosenblatt begins the week of onstage conversations with TV writer and producer Norman Lear. Creator of the CBS sitcom "All in the Family," Lear has also created or produced hit shows such as "The Jeffersons," "Sanford and Son" and "Good Times." He was one of the first seven television pioneers to be inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame and in 1999, President Bill Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts.

On Tuesday, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and author Jules Feiffer joins Rosenblatt. Best known for his comic strip in "The Village Voice," Feiffer has also written and illustrated books for children and young adults as well as authored two novels. He is the winner of an Academy Award and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Writers Guild of America and the National Cartoonist Society.

Meg Wolitzer, New York Times best-selling author, will be the featured writer on Wednesday, June 27. Wolitzer has written seven novels including "The Ten Year Nap" and "The Wife and The Uncoupling," which was released April 2011.

Rosenblatt will host two guests on Thursday, Derek and Sissela Bok. Former president of Harvard University Derek Bok has written six books on higher education and three books discussing the adequacy of the U.S. government in coping with the nation's domestic problems. Sissela Bok, senior visiting fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, is also a moral philosopher and author of Exploring Happiness.

Emma Walton Hamilton and her mother, Dame Julie Andrews, take the stage on Friday, June 29. Best-selling children's author, editor, arts educator and literacy advocate, Hamilton has co-authored 20 children's books with her mother, six of which have been on the New York Times bestseller list. Along with co-authoring children's books, Andrews is one of the most recognized figures in the entertainment industry, known for her memorable performances in "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music."

The week's Interfaith Lecturer, Bishop John Shelby Spong, will deliver afternoon lectures June 25 to 29. Spong will discuss how the pages of the Bible reflect the limits of knowledge and the cultural biases of its authors. The ancient text of the Bible will be analyzed as a newly defined God emerges out of the early tribal mentality, breaking through in the new revelation in Jesus that opened human life to a new consciousness and new dimensions.

Morning lectures are held in the Amphitheater weekdays at 10:45 a.m. Interfaith Lectures are held in the Hall of Philosophy weekdays at 2 p.m. Afternoon lecture themes often complement the themes of the 10:45 a.m. lectures, but take a different angle of vision.

Day tickets are available for purchase at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of the visit. Morning tickets grant visitors access to the grounds for $18 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For $12, afternoon tickets grant access from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Combined morning/afternoon passes, granting access from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., are $30. For additional ticketing information, visit or call 357-6250.



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