CAMP Rehoboth Lecture Series Explores the Arts: Performing, Visual, and Written
The Programs Committee of CAMP Rehoboth is readying the next two offerings in its lecture series on the Arts this fall. Coming up is The Life and Legacy of Vincent Van Gogh, which will be held on Tuesday, October 23, and They Make Us Laugh: Humor through Literature, scheduled for Thursday, November 15. Both programs will be held in the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center, and each program will begin at 7 p.m. The programs are free and open to the public.
“We kicked off the series with a lecture about Maria Von Trapp by Evelyn Swenssen on September 23,” said Program Committee Chair Glen Pruitt. “The audience loved it! On their evaluation forms, audience members wrote that the presentation was ‘delightful,’ even ‘enchanting.’ In retrospect, we had only two wishes for that initial presentation: to have had more chances to sing along with Maria…and to have had even more people in the audience.”
The Programs Committee hopes to build on the success of that first lecture, and October’s presentation on Vincent Van Gogh is sure to make a great impression on the audience. Impressionist painter Van Gogh remains an iconic figure in pop culture, more than a hundred years after his death. “Each generation continues the fascination with Vincent Van Gogh,” explains presenter Sandra Denney. “His life was tragic. He never got any recognition for his art while he was alive. He experienced no success in his career. In fact, he sold only one painting during this lifetime.” Yet Van Gogh remains one of the most recognizable of the artists from the Impressionist period, and his life story has been immortalized on film (the Kurt Douglas movie Lust for Life) and in song (the Don McLean song “Starry Nights”). In her presentation, Ms. Denney will help the audience reframe how it looks at an artist whose works and story are familiar to many, and perhaps have them walk away with a renewed appreciation of this tortured genius. Though she calls herself “an art historian who cannot draw a straight line,” Ms. Denney is more than qualified for the task. She has a Master’s Degree in Art History from the University of Delaware, and she has visited most of the major art museums in Western Europe. Her presentation will focus on Van Gogh’s life, the evolution of his painting style, and his relation to his contemporaries, especially Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
The Lecture Series moves from tragedy to comedy with its November presentation, They Make Us Laugh: Humor through Literature. Rehoboth Beach’s own Lenore Mussoff will guide her audience to the realization that literature can be funny and truthful at the same time (and the truth about us may not always be pretty!) “Much of humor in literature comes through satire, in which the readers are able to laugh at themselves, “explains Ms. Mussoff. She will use CDs and videos to present selections from a variety of writers, playwrights and lyricists who combine humor and insight. This presentation will include excerpts from the writings of Dorothy Parker, Ogden Nash, Oscar Wilde, and Mark Twain. “How can one talk about humor in literature and not include Mark Twain?” she exclaims. “I like to use a little bit of this and a little bit of that in my presentation. I guarantee that, if an audience member doesn’t laugh at one selection, just wait a minute and you’ll laugh at the next one!” One of her favorite resources is Stephen Sondheim, who she calls “one of the most brilliant lyricists to come down the pike.” Ms. Mussoff is a writer herself, though she is an academic author who just happens to appreciate good humor. Audience participation is especially welcome during this presentation, particularly if audience members get the giggles!
All three of the presenters for the Lecture Series are being provided to CAMP Rehoboth through the cooperation of the Delaware Humanities Forum, a Wilmington-based nonprofit that has been in operation since 1973. “The humanities are all about the aspirations, values, and purposes of the community. They are also a means of uniting the past, the present, and the future. This philosophy is shared by both the Humanities Forum and by CAMP Rehoboth,” explains Glen Pruitt. “It’s all about people!”
All presentations are free and open to the public. Seating is general admission, and the doors open thirty minutes prior to the start of the presentation. No tickets are needed.
Tuesday, October 23, 7 p.m.: The Life and Legacy of Vincent Van Gogh
Thursday, November 15, 7 p.m.: They Make Us Laugh: