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Four Generations of the Adams Family Presented by the Poets’ Theatre

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Boston Athenæum Members and Poets' Theatre supporters $25 and Non-members $30

Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), John Adams, ca. 1815. Oil on panel, 26 1/16 x 20 13/16 in. (66.2 x 52.8 cm). Gift of the estate of William Smith Shaw, 1826
Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), John Adams, ca. 1815. Oil on panel, 26 1/16 x 20 13/16 in. (66.2 x 52.8 cm). Gift of the estate of William Smith Shaw, 1826.

Four Generations of the Adams Family

Presented by the Poets’ Theatre

Join us for the third and final program in a series of literary collaborations between the Boston Athenæum and the Poets’ Theatre. One America’s Founding Families, the Adams family of Massachusetts has left a priceless legacy of correspondence, speeches, histories, and novels that reflect the birth pangs and moral struggles of the republic from the late 18th to the late 19th centuries. The writings of John, John Quincy, Charles Francis, and Henry Adams, and of their wives and family members, reflect concerns about slavery, industry, and democracy with an unmistakable Adams candor. In this special performance, the actors of the Poets’ Theatre will bring to life the voices and preoccupations of these four generations of influential Americans.

David Gullette (Playwright) is Professor Emeritus of English at Simmons College and Literary Director of the Poets’ Theatre. He has appeared with Actors’ Shakespeare Project as Escalus in Measure for Measure and as King of France in All’s Well That Ends Well. Other Boston area credits include Cadmus in Kathryn Walker’s The Bacchae (Harvard Office for the Arts), Vincentio in Andre Serban’s The Taming of the Shrew (American Repertory Theatre), Macbeth in Emily Mann’s Macbeth (Harvard Radcliffe Drama Club), Jonathan Wild in Laurence Senelick’s production of Anything You Say Will Be Twisted (Harpo Productions), and Sir Arthur Sullivan in the Christmas Revels. His radio credits include The Spider’s Web (NPR).

Robert Scanlan (Director) is Professor of the Practice of Theatre in the English Department at Harvard University. He directs frequently in America and abroad, winning in 1995 the Boston Theatre Award for Outstanding Director. Scanlan premiered Carol Mack’s In Her Sight at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky, and co-directed the world premiere of Derek Walcott’s musical, Steel, at the A.R.T. Scanlan writes and lectures frequently about the staging of Beckett’s work and about contemporary American playwriting. With the Poets’ Theatre, he has directed many staged readings, including a periodic “Muster of Poets” and the world premiere presentation of Samuel Beckett’s Stirrings Still with David Warrilow.

Set aside a moment to visit the Bayard Henry Long Room the next time you are at the Athenæum to view portraits of John Adams by Mather Brown and Gilbert Stuart, a bust of John Quincy Adams by Horatio Greenough, and a bust of Charles Francis Adams by William Whetmore Story.

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