2006/07 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents Caroline Conversations
A series of free community-minded events inspired by the issues raised by Arden Theatre Company's production of Caroline, or Change
February 27, 2007
Philadelphia, PA - Arden Theatre Company has partnered with the National Constitution Center, the Rosenbach Museum and Library and Temple University's Center for Afro-Jewish Thought to bring three free events to the Philadelphia community. The events center on themes explored in Caroline, or Change, a musical by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and Tony Award nominee Jeanine Tesori running at Arden Theatre Company from March 8 – April 8, 2007. Kushner's moving story raises important questions about civil rights, the Jewish- and African-American experiences, race relations and the role of women in society. These three events, collectively called Caroline Conversations, are made possible by generous funding from both the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the Samuel S. Fels Fund.
The Caroline Conversations series begins with THE FACE OF JUDAISM, Friday, April 6 at 5:30 pm at Temple University. Hosted by Dr. Lewis Gordon, himself a Black Jew and founder of Temple's Center for Afro-Jewish Studies, The Face of Judaism will focus on the social and historical anthropology of Judaism. Dr. Gordon will reveal the often-obscured ethnic diversity of Judaism. Philadelphia alone has eighteen Black synagogues, and a significant number of Native American Jews. Dr. Gordon will expose the ethnically heterogeneous nature of Judaism.
Caroline Conversations continue on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30 pm on the Arcadia Stage at Arden Theatre Company with LET US REMEMBER: AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND JEWISH LEGACIES OF GENOCIDE AND DIASPORA. In 1965, African-American poet Langston Hughes and Jewish-American composer David Amram teamed up to write a cantata to honor the shared legacies of genocide and Diaspora and to build a bridge between Jewish and African-American histories. The result is what Dean Frank, in his 1965 San Francisco Chronicle article, calls "a frank and simple sermon...in which hope answers horror." Philadelphia native David Amram, called by The Boston Globe, "the Renaissance man of American music," has composed over 100 orchestral and chamber works, two operas, and film scores (Splendor in the Grass, The Manchurian Candidate). Amram will join history professor Diane Turner (curator of Rosenbach Museum and Library's Look Again, African American History IS American History exhibit) to discuss his collaboration with Hughes. Three movements of the cantata will be performed.
WOMEN IN FAITH on Monday, April 30 at 6:30 pm in the Kirby Auditorium at the National Constitution Center is the final Caroline Conversation in the series. Moderated by Jane Eisner, Vice President for Civic Initiatives at the Constitution Center, this lively discussion will feature a group of female faith leaders - a woman Rabbi, an African-American Christian woman minister, and several women from their congregations. The evening will explore how the very state of being a woman affects the way we worship. Eisner will encourage participants and audience members to discuss the idea of "the stained-glass ceiling," the reconciliation (or lack thereof) of faith and feminism and the role women play in religion at home, at the place of worship and in society.
All events are FREE and open to the public.
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