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In partnership with Mass Humanities, The House of the Seven Gables is excited to offer Meet Nathaniel Hawthorne to local schools and cultural organizations from May 19 – May 22, 2018. Educator Paul Riopelle has put together an engaging one-man performance meant to bring Salem’s native son to life for a wide range of audiences.
Meet Nathaniel Hawthorne is half-biography, and half-anthology. It brings Hawthorne to its audience through his own words, in an immediate and personal way. The audience is introduced to the author in a moment of creative frustration—he cannot write. In an effort to rekindle his literary inspiration, he performs dramatic readings for his listeners from his most famous works—The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, Young Goodman Brown, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, and others. The stories come to vivid life through Hawthorne’s vocal and physical embodiment of his characters, and the use of “props” he pulls from the walls of the room. Between the stories, he offers glimpses into his Salem past, his dark ancestral history, his marriage and work life, and his many famous friendships in the literary and political worlds. The result is a dramatic, engaging, human look at the man behind some of the greatest stories in American literature.
This educational program is an opportunity to not just hear about the author or read his works—but to encounter this fascinating, prolific, and complex man, up close and personal. In offering this unique experience to local schools and cultural organizations, The House of the Seven Gables will be achieving a concrete and ideal expression of its stated values—to honor the legacy of Nathaniel Hawthorne, to engage diverse audiences, and to foster education as a central tenet of its programming.
About the educational program:
Cost: Free thanks to support from Mass Humanities and The House of the Seven Gables
Dates available: May 19 – May 22 in Essex County and the Greater Boston area; A morning and afternoon performance can be scheduled each day.
Available for: Local schools, educational programs, and museums or cultural organizations.
Contact: Julie Arrison-Bishop, Special Projects Manager; firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-744-0991 x152
About Paul Riopelle:
Paul has decades of theatrical experience and has recently combined his love of theatre and classic literature into a number of educational experiences in New York, Cincinnati, and the regions. Riopelle wrote an original dinner-theatre chamber play, A Dickens Tea, based on Charles Dickens’ holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol. The play was produced at the historic Victorian Holly Hotel in Holly, Michigan. Due to the popularity of the programPaul was asked to expand the script to a full-length educational program, An Evening with Charles Dickens.
In 2009, Paul adapted the work of another of his favorite authors, Edgar Allan Poe, into the one-man presentation, Three By Poe. The play was produced at the BoarsHead Theatre in October of 2009, and was one of only three plays nominated that year for Michigan’s Thespie Award for Best Original Play.
Paul is excited to share his passion for the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne not only in Salem but around the region in his brief stay in May 2018. He is looking forward to adding this event to the slate of 350th anniversary programming at The House of the Seven Gables and beyond.
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This post was written by Julie Arrison-Bishop