The Book Cellar
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Join Us for THE AFTERLIFE TRILOGYat The Book Cellar!
Polarity Ensemble Theatre introduces a new way to experience theater with The Afterlife Trilogy: two novels to be read before seeing a play. Join us for a free book launch event at The Book Cellar. Actors Rian Jairell, Allison McCorkle, Margo Chervony and Richard Engling perform scenes from the novels adapted and directed by Helen Young and Charles C. Palia Jr. To learn more, visit The Afterlife Trilogy.
Why does a beautiful, talented woman take her own life? That's the mystery behind Richard Engling's VISIONS OF ANNA, a novel that takes us to the 1970's Paris of poets and writers, on and off a movie set in Hollywood, and to an epic ritual in the desert of Utah. Part two takes us deeper into the mystery with SHE PLAYS IN DARKNESS, a novel by Fern Chertkow, the author who inspired the character of ANNA. Part three takes us to the ultimate setting with ANNA IN THE AFTERLIFE, a world premiere play by Richard Englingwhich will open in April 2015.
About Visions of Anna:
"Matthew Harken's urgent questions about his friend Anna's suicide and his own critical illness compel him to risk a perilous, spiritual quest. Hisheartrending, heart-opening journey through the interwoven worlds of memory, dream, and shamanic magic lead him not only to visions of Anna but to visions of grace. This passionate, poignant novel stands alone strongly and invites us deeper into the mystery of The Afterlife Trilogy."
-Elizabeth Cunningham, author of The Maeve Chronicles.
"She Plays in Darkness is an exquisitely beautiful and haunting novel filled with such fully developed characters that readers will not soon forget them. This is a book to cherish, to re-read, the kind of novel that avoids sentimentality so fiercely that readers will give copies to their friends and tell them, 'Read this, this is a how a woman's life truly is.'"
-Tony Ardizzone, author of The Whale Chaser
Join us as we welcom author Scott Blackwood in a conversation with Chicago Tribune literary editor Elizabeth Taylor about his new novel, See How Small.
One late autumn evening in a Texas town, two strangers walk into an ice cream shop shortly before closing time. They bind up the three teenage girls who are working the counter, set fire to the shop, and disappear. SEE HOW SMALL tells the stories of the survivors--family, witnesses, and suspects--who must endure in the wake of atrocity. Justice remains elusive in their world, human connection tenuous. Hovering above the aftermath of their deaths are the three girls. They watch over the town and make occasional visitations, trying to connect with and prod to life those they left behind. "See how small a thing it is that keeps us apart," they say. A master of compression and lyrical precision, Scott Blackwood has surpassed himself with this haunting, beautiful, and enormously powerful new novel.
Scott Blackwood is the author of the novels See How Small and We Agreed to Meet Just Here, and the story collection, In the Shadow of Our House. He's the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, the AWP Prize for the Novel, and The Texas Institute of Letters Award for his fiction. He's also the Grammy Award-nominated author of The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, a two-volume narrative about American’s greatest “race record” label and the rise of early jazz and blues, produced by the musician Jack White. A long-time resident of Austin, Texas, Blackwood lives in Evanston.
Kelly Leonard comes to the Virgin Hotel to talk about his new book Yes, and: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from the Second City!!
Kelly Leonard has worked at The Second City since 1988 and has overseen productions with such notable performers as Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Adam McKay, Seth Meyers, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Jason Sudeikis, Keegan Michael Key, Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris and a host of others. Mr. Leonard co-founded Second City Theatricals, the division of the company that develops an eclectic array of live entertainment all over the world. Recent productions include “The Second City Guide to the Opera” starring Renee Fleming and Sir Patrick Stewart with Lyric Opera Chicago; “America All Better,” which was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC; and an upcoming collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance that will premiere at The Harris Theatre in Chicago in October of 2014. Mr. Leonard also brokered the deal that brought The Second City to the high seas where the company maintains full time ensembles aboard a number of Norwegian Cruise Line Ships. He has received many honors, including being named to Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 list and named one of the top 40 cultural figures in Chicago by Time Out Magazine. He recently received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Lake Forest College and his first book, “Yes, And,” will be published by Harper Collins in February of 2015. Mr. Leonard lives in Chicago with his wife Anne Libera and their children Nick and Nora.
Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City:
Executives from The Second City—the world’s premier comedy theater and school of improvisation—reveal improvisational techniques that can help any organization develop innovators, encourage adaptable leaders, and build transformational businesses. For more than fifty years, The Second City comedy theater in Chicago has been a training ground for some of the best comic minds in the industry—including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey. But it also provides one-of-a-kind leadership training to cutting-edge companies, nonprofits, and public sector organizations—all aimed at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork. The rules for leadership and teamwork have changed, and the skills that got professionals ahead a generation ago don’t work anymore. Now The Second City provides a new toolkit individuals and organizations can use to thrive in a world increasingly shaped by speed, social communication, and decentralization. Based on eight principles of improvisation, Yes, And helps to develop these skills and foster them in high-potential leaders and their teams.