Readers & Writers festival kicks off with 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'


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  • Alan Alda (Photo provided)




  • Mary Badham (Photo provided)




The Oscar-winning film version of the best-selling novel by Harper Lee “To Kill a Mocking Bird” will open the Milford Readers & Writers Festival on Friday, Sept. 28, at the Milford Theatre with special guest Mary Badham, who played “Scout” in the original 1962 movie.

Badham was chosen for the roll of “Scout” at the age of 10 with no prior acting experience. She won an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress and, at that time, she was the youngest person ever to do so.

Badham will be in conversation with local director and performer Michelle Oram, discussing the making of the movie, her friendship with Gregory Peck, and how the movie resonates today. It has recently been removed from a high school reading list because it “makes people uncomfortable.”

With the festival now in its third year, the Friday night opener is always a performance that is a variation on the theme of conversations between the people who love books and the people who write them.

This year’s presentation explores the transformation of the written word to the screen. The Humans Collective opened the first year with an interpretive dance to Maya Angelou’s poetry, and last year Len and Heather Cariou moved the audience to tears with their reading of “Love Letters.”

Festival headliners will include a conversation with Emmy award winning author and actor Alan Alda; feminist writer and activist Susan Faludi in conversation with Carol Jenkins, an Emmy-winning anchor and correspondent for NBC-TV; “Writing About War” with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frances FitzGerald in conversation with Phil Klay, moderated by Lucian Truscott IV; and a panel on “The Brave New World of Publishing,” all of which will take place on the main stage of the Milford Theatre throughout the day on Saturday, Sept. 29.

The audience will be invited to join in these conversations.

The mainstage events this year continue on Sunday beginning with “Both Sides of Politics” featuring Andrew Napolitano in conversation with Joe Sestack; followed by New Yorker cartoonists Bob Eckstein, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Christopher Weyant, and David Borchart.

The afternoon will wrap up with the extremely popular Women’s Panel “Women of Our Words.”

A limited number of festival passes valid for entry to all festival events as well as a private authors reception open only to pass holders are available for sale at the early bird price of $150 per person at our Eventbrite link on the website.

More information about the festival can be found at www.milfordreadersandwriters.com (prices for the pass will increase on Sept. 3).

In addition to the ticketed events, the festival also offers a host of free programming and events open to the public, including storytelling, children’s and young adults events and a panel for parents, “The Changing Landscape of Parenting,” all at the Pike County Public Library, an Artificial Intelligence-themed Science Fiction Panel, “Recovery from Trauma,” poetry, comic books, a panel on conservation at Grey Towers, an open-mic event: “RAW After Dark,” the “Fauchere Series” authors, a pop-up bookstore, conversations and book-signings with local writers and more.

The Milford Readers & Writers Festival is a project of Pike Artworks, Inc., a 501-c-3 not-for-profit organized by a group of community volunteers from the Upper Delaware River Valley region.

Alan Alda sights on festival Alan Alda, who became an international star in the unforgettable role of Hawkeye Pierce in the mega-hit TV show “M*A*S*H,” is coming to Milford, Pa., to talk about his new passion: helping people communicate with each other.

The award-winning actor, writer, and TV star will appear at the Milford Readers and Writers Festival on Saturday, Sept. 29 in a conversation with writer and editor Suzanne Braun Levine about his new book “If I Understood You, Would I have This Look on My Face: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Communicating.”

His interest in the problems people have communicating began when he signed on as host of “Scientific American Frontiers” (1990-2005), in which he traveled the world interviewing scientists about their work – and asking question after question until he – and the audience – understood what they were saying. As you would expect, his approach is humorous and enlightening.

The festival runs throughout the week end of Sept. 28-30 and features feminist writer and activist Susan Faludi in conversation with Carol Jenkins, an Emmy-winning anchor and correspondent for NBC-TV; “Writing About War” with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frances FitzGerald in conversation with Phil Klay, moderated by Lucian Truscott IV; and a panel on “The Brave New World of Publishing,” all of which will take place on the main stage of the Milford Theatre throughout the day on Saturday, Sept. 29.

The audience will be invited to join in these conversations.

The mainstage events this year continue on Sunday, beginning with “Both Sides of Politics,” featuring Andrew Napolitano in conversation with Joe Sestack. They will be followed by New Yorker cartoonists Bob Eckstein, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Christopher Weyant, and David Borchart. The afternoon will wrap up with the popular Women Authors Panel, “Women of Our Words.”

A limited number of festival passes valid for entry to all festival events as well as a private authors reception open only to pass holders are available for sale at the early bird price of $150 per person at our Eventbrite link on the website. More information about the festival can be found at www.milfordreadersandwriters.com (prices for the pass will increase on Sept. 3).

In addition to the ticketed events, the festival also offers a host of free programming and events open to the public, including storytelling, children’s and young adults events and a panel for parents, “The Changing Landscape of Parenting,” all at the Pike County Public Library, an Artificial Intelligence-themed Science Fiction Panel, “Recovery from Trauma,” poetry, comic books, romance, an open-mic event: “RAW After Dark,” the “Fauchere Series” authors, a pop-up bookstore, conversations and book-signings with local writers and more.



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