Press enter after choosing selection
Graphic for events post

Blog Post

i carry your heart with me

Sat, 10/14/2017 - 11:33am


[|E.E. Cummings], (Edward Estlin, for those wondering) beloved American poet, was born on this day in 1894. Cummings is most well known for his unique style of poetry, recognizable by his sparing use of words, and his experimentation with form, grammar, and spelling. Often he wrote about love, and arguably his most well known poem is [|i carry your heart with me]. Cummings started writing at a young age, and was quite prolific, having written thousands of poems. For a quick intro, here are [|100 selected poems] to give you a taste of his distinguished work. For a deeper dive, be sure to check out a copy of the [|Complete Collected poems]. In addition to writing poetry, Cummings wrote multiple non-fiction books including [|The Enormous Room] and [|Fairytales], as well as a handful of plays, which are available for check out [|here].

Graphic for events post

Blog Post


Fri, 07/07/2017 - 2:58pm

Spring Awakening today is, for some, what Rent was in the ‘90s. Originally written as a German play by Frank Wedekind in the 19th century (and promptly banned), it resurfaced as a rock musical by Duncan Sheik in 2006. Starring Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff of future [|Glee] fame, the show took home eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score. It was recently revived on Broadway by Deaf West Theater in 2015, receiving an additional three Tony nominations.

The story follows teens under oppressive boarding school and home regimes as they navigate a multitude of difficult topics including sexuality, pregnancy, abortion, suicide, neglect, and abuse – serious stuff! That’s why [|Ann Arbor in Concert] – which is producing the show for one night only on Saturday, July 15th – is working to ensure that prospective patrons learn as much about the musical’s content and topics as they can before deciding if the show is right for them. The Ann Arbor District Library is presenting, [|“Spring Awakening: How a 19th-Century German Play Rocks with Relevance Today,”] a talk and discussion led by Corner Health Center Health Educator, Social Worker, and Teen Peer Education Theatre Troupe Leader, Craig VanKempen, MSW, MPH. This event will take place on Monday, July 10, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Library’s Downtown Branch.

The Library offers a plethora of additional resources for community members to educate themselves about Spring Awakening and its topics. Patrons can check out the [|musical score] or [|soundtrack] to hear the incredibly powerful music and decide if the more explicit lyrics are their cup of tea. Frank Wedekind’s [|Four Major Plays] is also available for those interested in reading a translation of the original story.

One of the primary conflicts of the musical is that the adults prioritize avoiding their own discomfort over their children and students’ safety. Today we know that, although uncomfortable at times, understanding and talking about sex, consent, suicide, and bullying reduces shame, promotes accurate information, and enables people to access resources when they need help. How different would the story of Spring Awakening be if Wendla’s mother had talked to her the way that Grandma talks to her grandchild in [|Anastasia Higginbotham’s book], or if members of the entire community had been about to check out resources like [|Kate Bornstein’s book] from their local library. Today we also have many excellent organizations in our community including [|Ele’s Place], [|Ozone House], [|SafeHouse Center], and [|Corner Health Center] to provide additional support and resources to those who need them.

Spring Awakening is not a show for everyone, and Ann Arbor in Concert has posted a parental advisory to encourage prospective patrons, particularly those with younger family members, to learn more about the show before purchasing tickets.

AADL's [|Pulp] has published a [|preview] about the show.

Ann Arbor in Concert’s one-night-only performance of Spring Awakening will be on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 8 p.m. at the Power Center. Tickets are on sale at [|] or at the [|Michigan Union Ticket Office].

Graphic for events post

Blog Post

Sneak Peek at Performance Network at its Dawn

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 1:15pm


The [|Performance Network], formerly an Ann Arbor professional theater group, enters [|Old News] in 1982 with the article “[|Their corner of the world’s a stage]”. “Our immediate aim is to be studio or work space,” explained [|David Bernstein], one of Performance Network’s co-founders. For the first two years, Performance Network was a place for directors, playwrights, actors and stage crew to develop their professional skills. A unique feature was the “Works-in-Progress” series, stage readings of plays followed by a discussion with the playwright. Among them was [|Rachelle Urist], a reporter for the Ann Arbor News, who had her play, [|"Just Friends,”] stage read and later developed into a full production. Opening their doors was the play, [|"We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay,”] which heralded the era of Performance Network. Stay tuned for additional articles, photographs, programs, and more, from Performance Network's long history.

Graphic for events post

Blog Post

The Hamiltome is Here!

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 4:58pm

[img_assist|nid=334853|title=Hamilton: The Revolution|desc=Hamilton: The Revolution|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=119]Hamilton, the smash-hit Broadway hip-hop musical about Founding Father and America’s first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton (yes, you read that right), has taken the world by storm. Performances are sold out through the end of this year, and celebrities from Busta Rhymes to Madonna all the way up to Dick Cheney and the Obama family have raved about the show.

If you’ve been listening to [|the Broadway cast soundtrack] non-stop since it came out, you probably already know all about Hamiltome, the nickname for the newest book about the musical. Many Broadway shows publish libretti with music, lyrics, and notes about the show, but Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and collaborator Jeremy McCarter have put together something more like a scrapbook. In addition to the traditional libretto, [|Hamilton: The Revolution] features large color photos of the cast, set, and show; plus historical background information, interviews, and footnotes from Miranda and the cast. It was published this week, and you can [|place a hold on it] from AADL!

If you just can’t wait for it, and need to dive deeper into Hamilton and his contemporaries, try one of these:

Ron Chernow’s biography, [|Alexander Hamilton] tops the list of further Hamilton reading, and is in fact the inspiration for the musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda took this 800-page tome on vacation as some nice beach reading, connected with the plight and struggle of a man writing himself out of hard times, and started composing the musical when he got back from vacation. This is the definitive Hamilton biography, a vivid and detailed portrait of a multi-dimensional man who came to a new country and made himself a new man.

Hamilton wrote prolifically, and there’s no better way to understand that than by picking up [|the 1108-page collection of his writings], which includes letters, speeches, the infamous Reynolds Pamphlet, and all 51 of the Federalist Papers he authored. Flip through, and you might even notice some lines from his actual writing that became lyrics in the show. Be certain to read some of the affectionate letters he wrote to his wife Eliza and the series of letters with Aaron Burr that led to their fateful duel.

After the duel, Aaron Burr would often casually refer to Alexander Hamilton as “my friend Alexander Hamilton, whom I shot.” They were, at the very least, colleagues, and even worked together as attorneys for the defense in America’s first sensational and fully transcribed murder trial. [|Duel with the Devil], by Paul Collins, shares the scandal of the Manhattan Well Mystery and the trial of suspect Levi Weeks, plus some of the political backstory of the two legendary rivals.

Don’t throw away your shot to learn more about this Founding Father’s fascinating life and career. Placing a hold on one of these books is easy, waiting for it is harder.

Graphic for events post

Lectures & Panel Discussions

The Art of Taiwanese Glove Puppet Theater

Monday May 23, 2016: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: Secret Lab
Grade 6 - Adult

Graphic for events post

Lectures & Panel Discussions

Notes On Directing With John Manfredi and Suzi Regan Of The Performance Network

Monday November 9, 2015: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

Graphic for events post

Blog Post

Michigan Activity Pass - Check Out Free Passes to Michigan Attractions

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 1:22pm

Looking for adventure this summer? The Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) is newly expanded, offering free or discounted entry to more than 360 attractions across the state. Library card holders can log in to the [|MAP site] to explore opportunities close to home or farther afield. Use the [|Advanced Search] option to narrow your results by area of interest, such as art, historical sites, maritime, children's activities, campgrounds, and many more.

Use MAP to get free or discounted entry to some of the historic lighthouses dotting Michigan's coast, to art museums such as the Detroit Institute of Arts or the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, to history museums like the Yankee Air Museum, the Michigan Firehouse Museum, and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, as well as to state parks and campgrounds throughout Michigan,

Find MAP on the library's website under [|Unusual Stuff] and explore your options for making this summer a non-stop Michigan adventure!

Check out the program brochure for a [|complete listing] of participating locations.

Graphic for events post


"Why Shakespeare?" With Janice L Blixt, Producing Artistic Director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Monday July 6, 2015: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Graphic for events post

Blog Post

Ann Arbor Civic Theatre Archive Launched on Old News

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 7:57am


The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre is celebrating 85 years and AADL has launched a new [|website] detailing the history of this award-winning local theater company.

View hundreds [|photos] from the rehearsals, backstages and performances of the plays including never before seen shots from noted photographer Fred Beutler as well as the staff photographers at the Ann Arbor News. The Archive also includes hundreds of [|posters] and [|programs] from plays and over a thousand [|articles] from the Ann Arbor News.

Old News will be adding more programs, photos and documents from the extensive collection at the Civic Theatre in the coming months but we need your help . . . can you identify any of the people in the photos where we don't have names? Everyone knows someone in Ann Arbor who worked in or for a Civic Theatre play, so browse the photos and add your knowledge in the Add New Comment feature. We have identified the lady at your left, that's [|Gilda Radner.]