Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum announces 2000-01 season


Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum, an outreach program of the School of Continuing Education designed to challenge "the life of the mind," will offer a noteworthy fourth season featuring superstars from the worlds of Broadway, journalism, film, literature, the arts and education. This year's program includes such celebrated figures as composer Stephen Sondheim, political analyst Joe Klein, writer/feminist Susan Sontag and actress and children's advocate Mia Farrow.

Broadway's legendary songwriter, composer, lyricist and playwright Stephen Sondheim kicks off the spectacular season on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m., with an interactive discussion titled "Sunday Afternoon: When a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Open VISIONS Forum."

The winner of several Tony Awards, Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for "Into the Woods," "A Little Night Music," "Follies," "Sunday in the Park with George," and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," as well as the lyrics for "West Side Story" and "Gypsy." A 1993 Kennedy Center awardee and the winner of the National Arts Medal, Sondheim will receive the Gerald Manley Hopkins Award from Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., president of Fairfield University, during his appearance here.

Leading American writer/feminist/activist Susan Sontag will share her views and discuss her new book, In America (featured on the cover of The New York Times Book Review), on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. The winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for On Photography, Sontag's works have been translated into 25 languages. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations' grants and has served on the faculty at Harvard, Columbia, the New School and CUNY.

"Don't Tell Mama: Growing Up in An Italian-American Family," is the topic chosen by Regina Barreca, Ph.D., when she takes the stage on Monday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. A specialist in feminist criticism with numerous scholarly publications to her credit, Dr. Barreca is committed to showing the world that feminists can have a sense of humor. She will discuss everyone from Mona Lisa to Carmela Soprano as she shares her feminist's viewpoint.

Berreca is the author of Sweet Revenge: The Wicked Delight of Getting Even; Perfect Husbands (and Other Fairy Tales); and They Used to Call Me Snow White, But I Drifted: Women's Strategic Use of Humor. Deemed a feminist maven by "Ms." magazine, she is frequently quoted in such publications as "Time," "Cosmopolitan," "Glamour," "Self" and "Good Housekeeping" magazines and "USA Today."

Hard-hitting political analyst, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, former political reporter for Newsweek, and "Anonymous" author of the best-seller, Primary Colors, Joe Klein will host a "Town Forum" on the presidential election on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. A Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he is the winner of the National Magazine Award for his coverage of the 1992 Clinton Campaign. Following the lecture, Klein will sign copies of his new book, The Running Mate.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m., the Open VISIONS Forum presents the Jacoby-Lunin Humanitarian Lectureship featuring Walter Turnbull, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Boys Choir of Harlem. Twenty-six years ago, Dr. Turnbull dreamed of creating opportunities to better the lives of the children of Harlem. His success with motivating and transforming the lives of the boys eventually evolved into the Grammy Award-winning group of singers.

Dr. Turnbull grew up in rural Mississippi where he was a pupil in a one-room schoolhouse. From there, he went on to earn both master's and doctoral degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

New York Times' food critic and gourmand, Florence Fabricant, will tingle your taste buds on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m., when she discusses "Dining Strategies Here and Abroad." Fabricant covers news in the food and restaurant scenes in the weekly "Food Stuff" and "Off the Menu" columns for the Times' Dining section and regularly contributes features about food, wine and travel to the paper.

She is the author of New Home Cooking: Feeding Family, Feasting Friends, named best general cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the best special occasion cookbook by the James Beard Foundation. Her latest cookbook is Elizabeth Berry's Great Bean Book.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the masterful epic "Angels in America," playwright Tony Kushner opens the 2001 spring season on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m., with the topic, "The Arts as Political Provocateur." Kushner will challenge us with the moral dilemmas of our time and ask the question, "Can we change?"

Self-described as a gay, Jewish socialist raised in Louisiana and educated at Columbia and NYU, Kushner most enjoys addressing audiences that are receptive to ideas for progress and change. He talks about weighty philosophical and political topics without being didactic or patronizing and will truly rouse the audience as he speaks about such timeless matters as faith, death and life.

Veteran reporter-commentator, currently senior news analyst for National Public Radio, Daniel Schorr will share his witty, acerbic and pungent insights into the politicians, headlines and events shaping our time on Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. The last of Edward R. Murrow's legendary CBS "Golden Age" team still fully active in journalism, Schorr has earned Columbia University's Golden Baton, a Peabody Award, the George Polk Award for radio commentary, three Emmys and decorations from European heads of state. During the Watergate era, he had the distinction of being highly placed on President Nixon's now infamous "Enemies List."

The season will conclude on Sunday, March 25, at 3 p.m., with Mia Farrow, actress, children's advocate and author of the best-selling autobiography, What Falls Away. The mother of fourteen children who have given her "a meaningful life," she will discuss that life and her relationships, including encounters with Thornton Wilder and Salvador Dali.

Farrow began her professional career in an Off-Broadway production of "The Importance of Being Earnest," and became a household name the following year when she landed the role of Allison in "Peyton Place." In the past three decades, she has appeared in some 35 films including "Rosemary's Baby," "The Great Gatsby," "Broadway Danny Rose," Hannah and Her Sisters," "Radio Days," "Purple Rose of Cairo," "Widow's Peak," and "Reckless."

The Open VISIONS Forum was conceived by Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., professor of Visual and Performing Arts and the series' current director and moderator. All lectures take place in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, the university's state-of-the-art theater complex where ample parking is available in three adjacent, well-lighted parking lots patrolled by the university's Security Department.

Ticket prices vary for each lecture with discounts available for seniors and students. Subscriptions are available beginning August 1st which guarantee seating priority if placed before August 15th. For information on becoming a patron of Open VISIONS, call the School of Continuing Education at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2907. For ticket prices and information, call the box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll-free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 10, 2000

Vol. 32, No. 224