Jun 21-23, 2024

Why Do Actors Train? (Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama) is a new book by local theatre artist and scholar, Brad Krumholz. Focusing on recent developments in neuroscience, philosophy, and related fields, the author develops a new theory of embodiment to investigate the actor’s craft. 

Join the author in a lively conversation with Jason Tougaw to catch a glimpse of how all of us, not just actors, encounter the material world and the invisible forces at play within it. The session will include a short, non-compulsory workshop element. All are welcome to listen and/or participate.

Presented in collaboration with North American Cultural Laboratory (NACL) in Highland Lake, Sullivan County, NY.

Hafizah Augustus Geter winner of the Pen Open Book Award for her memoir The Black Period is joined by Booker Prize winner and Deep Water favorite Marlon James for a conversation around speculative fiction, genre and writing dystopia.

Listen on:
Spotify    Overcast    Castro    Castbox    Pocket Casts    Goodpods    Podfriend   

George Orwell loved to write about popular entertainment whether it was boy’s weeklies, saucy seaside postcards, or, as in his essays, “Raffles and Miss Blandish,” (1944), and “Decline of the English Murder,” (1946), the enduring appeals of murder mysteries and true crime. Were he alive today, Orwell might be inspired by the ways in which contemporary writers are playing with the classic formula in bold and exciting ways. Caroline Kepnes creates a sly and uncomfortable complicity between reader and villain in her novel-turned-hit Netflix series,You and its successors. Brendan Slocumb’s acclaimed debut, The Violin Conspiracy, a pacy mystery set in the world of classical music is simultaneously a coming-of-age novel of a poor Black violin prodigy in a deeply elitist institution. Wine will be served. Sponsored by The Pale.

Three adventurous journalists discuss tough assignments, from ordinary life in North Korea to Russia’s culture of disinformation, to the human cost of US drone strikes in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. And why Orwell still matters — a lot.

Moderated by Ilya Marritz, NPR and ProPublica reporter.

Watch the Event

“Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships – an age in which freedom of thought will be at first a deadly sin and later on a meaningless abstraction. The autonomous individual is going to be stamped out of existence.” – George Orwell

In a special festival commission, Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, has created a new composition “Parallax of Quantum” featuring strings, electronic music and the legendary science fiction writer, Samuel R. Delany, author of Babel-17 and Dhalgren, reading from George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. Featuring the the WCM Beloveds: Nurit Pacht & Andrew Waggoner (violins), Kathryn Lockwood (viola) and Caroline Stinson (cello).

The Black Library takes over the 108 on Main St, to host a Hip-Hop centered cultural and historical immersive experience. Through the use of music and art carefully curated by founders Douglas Shindler and Michael Davis, this project will highlight and detail the path and trajectory of the genre as well as the profound impact it has had on countless individuals around the world today. “Come dance, laugh, sing, and celebrate with us as we approach the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop.” The Black Library is Sullivan County’s most exciting new arts organization, with a mission to promote greater understanding of Black history and culture, advocate for racial justice in Sullivan County and beyond, and to act as an incubator for the next generation of local artists.

In association with The Orwell Foundation in London, a unique hybrid event, not to be missed offering a rare and live glimpse into the Orwell Archive housed in the University College London, with his son Richard Blair. Blair will share the stories of his early childhood and memories of his father through a series of select photographs, documents and personal objects 

In George Orwell’s classic account of poverty, Down and Out in Paris and London, the novelist and essayist shunned the expensive boulevards of the City of Lights in favor of the slums, those on the margins, often living hand to mouth. His behind-the-scenes account of working as a dishwasher at a smart hotel restaurant and living rough in England echoes down the ages in work by urban chroniclers like Lucy Sante, Jeremiah Moss, and Sukhdev Sandhu. Best known for her study of New York’s turn-of-the-century demi-monde, Low Life, Sante’s most recent book is 19 Reservoirs, in which she uses New York’s water supply as a lens through which to examine the divisions between urban and rural, rich and poor. And in Jeremiah Moss’s Feral City, the author offers an expansive exploration of New York during lockdown, when the streets were reclaimed by those who stayed behind. Sante and Moss are joined by Sukhdev Sandhu, the author of the visceral urban odysseys Night Haunts: A Journey Through the London Night, and London Calling: How Black Asian Writers Imagined A City.

Featuring a short film by Jem Cohen commissioned for the festival with Lucy Sante narrating “The Moon Under Water”

In the spring of 1936 George Orwell planted seven rose bushes in his garden in Hertfordshire, having purchased them at Woolworths for a sixpence each. More than eight decades later, inspired by his passion for gardening, Rebecca Solnit made a pilgrimage to find these roses and discovered a living thread connecting the past with today. Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark, Men Explain Things to Me and Recollections of My Nonexistence, joins us to discuss her vibrant meditation on Orwell’s legacy and how politics, pleasure and a love for the natural world must intertwine for us to find a path forward in hope and resistance.

Featuring a short film by G. Anthony Svatek, commissioned for the festival, with Tilda Swinton narrating “Some Thoughts on the Common Toad”

Note: Rebecca Solnit will be appearing via a link from California.

Sign up for the latest festival news and special offers