Monday, July 22, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Travel photography workshop; ‘Christians and Jews Under the Muslim Crescent;’ ‘Mothers and Sons’ auditions; ‘Reel Theology’ at Hevreh; ‘The Irish Bridget’

Hazza Abu Rabia is a lecturer of Arabic language and Islamic studies at the University of Hartford’s Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies and at Central Connecticut State University.

Berkshire OLLI to offer travel photography workshop

Thaddeus Kubis.
Thaddeus Kubis.

Great Barrington — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College will offer the winter course “Travel Photography for Everyone” beginning Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Berkshire Community College South County Center.

Media such film, digital, smartphone, tablet, GoPro, video and cameras will be covered in the course led by graphic designer and award-winning photographer Thaddeus Kubis. The sessions will cover understanding destinations and equipment, the photographic golden hours, creative composition, taking notes, the benefits of wandering and how to tell and publish a story.

Registration is $45. No experience is necessary. The class runs for four weekly sessions from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call Berkshire OLLI at (413) 236-2190.

–E.E.

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‘Christians and Jews Under the Muslim Crescent’

Hazza Abu Rabia.
Hazza Abu Rabia.

Lenox — On Sunday, Jan. 22, at 4 p.m., the Lenox Library will welcome Hazza Abu Rabia who will give a talk titled “Christians and Jews Under the Muslim Crescent” as part of its Distinguished Lecture Series.

Abu Rabia is a lecturer of Arabic language and Islamic studies at the University of Hartford’s Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies and at Central Connecticut State University. He was born in Nazareth, Israel, and has an MA in Judaic studies from the joint program of the University of Connecticut and the University of Hartford, and an MA in Christian-Muslim relations from the Hartford Seminary. He is the author of four books and presents regularly at conferences in the region. A native Arabic speaker, Abu Rabia is also fluent in English, Greek and Hebrew. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in educational leadership at University of Hartford.

For more information, call the library at (413) 637-2630.

–E.E.

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Ghent Playhouse to hold auditions for ‘Mothers and Sons’

Ghent, N.Y. — The Ghent Playhouse will hold auditions for “Mothers and Sons,” written by Terrence McNally and directed by Cathy Lee-Visscher, at 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, and Tuesday, Jan. 24, with sign-in beginning at 7 p.m.

“Mothers and Sons” is the story of a Dallas matriarch who pays an unexpected visit to her late son’s partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son. It was nominated for a 2014 Tony Award for Best Play. The characters are Katherine Gerard, 70 years old; Cal Porter, 49–50 years old; Will Ogden, 30s; and Bud Ogden-Porter, 6 years old. Actors who are older or younger than the ages listed for the characters but feel able to portray the ages are audition. Those auditioning will be asked to read specific scenes from the script.

“Mothers and Sons” will run Friday, March 17, through Sunday, April 2. For more information, contact Cathy Lee-Visscher at (518) 758-1838.

–E.E.

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Hevreh to offer ‘Reel Theology’ Lunch N’ Learn series

Stranger_Than_Fiction_(2006_movie_poster)Great Barrington — Hevreh of Southern Berkshire will host a Lunch N’ Learn series with Rabbi Jodie Gordon called “Reel Theology,” a cinematic exploration of belief, on five consecutive Wednesdays at 11:45 a.m. beginning on Jan. 25.

“Reel Theology” will use films as the touchstones for theological and religious conversations around such topics as which religious or theological functions can be performed by popular culture and the extent to which film and contemporary literature can provide occasions of transcendence, divine encounter and religious/ethical exploration. Readings in theology and the study of religion will contextualize and round out the discussions.

The scheduled films in the series are “Stranger than Fiction” (2006), Jan. 25; “Memento” (2001), Feb. 1; “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (2002), Feb. 8; “The King’s Speech” (2010), Feb. 15; and “Defending Your Life” (1991), Feb. 22. Participants are strongly encouraged, though not required, to watch the films in their entirety before their respective courses. Rabbi Gordon will show excerpts from the film to provoke discussion but there will not be time to watch each movie in full. Participants may also bring bag lunches.

All are welcome. For more information, contact Hevreh at (413) 528-6378 or info@hevreh.org.

–E.E.

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Ventfort Hall to present ‘The Irish Bridget’

Margaret Lynch-Brennan.
Margaret Lynch-Brennan.

Lenox — On Saturday, Jan. 21, at 3:30 p.m., Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will present Dr. Margaret Lynch-Brennan, who will give a talk based on her new book “The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840-1930.”  The talk will be followed by a Victorian tea. 

Young Irish immigrant women who labored as cooks, maids and nannies in middle- and upper-class American homes were stock figures of ridicule in popular American magazines. Lynch-Brennan will show photographs and read personal letters the Irish Bridgets wrote to one another to give insight into their lives, and will also discuss their work lives in American homes, their social lives and the impact they had on Irish-American life.

Lynch-Brennan is currently a public scholar for the New York Council for the Humanities. She was a consultant with the Lower East Side Tenement House Museum in New York City on the interpretation of Irish immigrant Bridget Meehan Moore in the museum’s Moore family tenement. She taught at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels, and is retired from the New York State Education Department.

Tickets are $24 in advance and $29 on the day of the event. Reservations are recommended due to limited seating. For more information or reservations, contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or info@gildedage.org.

–E.E.

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