About 75 invited guests attended a garden party at the home of Board Member Rebecca Lindsay and her husband, Richard. The guests were eagerly awaiting news of the lineup of main stage speakers and events at the seventh annual Milford Writers and Readers Festival (MRAWF) to be held on September 22, 23, and 24 at the Milford theater with auxiliary events being held around town like in the Pike County Library or Good Sheppard Episcopal church.
The garden setting was sumptuous surrounded by impeccable landscaping, flowers, and free flowing wine and canapes. The spread was done by Rebecca and Jennifer Ziegler (also a board member) who made certain that every detail was accounted for.
Festival Co-Chairs Edson Whitney and Carol McManus presented the list of speakers.
“I can’t believe it’s been eight years since we started this. COVID was the reason we closed for one of the years. I’m very happy to be presenting another festival for our community that includes both paid and non-paid conversations at the historic Milford Theater, as well as many free panels around town with a wider variety of topics and authors,” Whitney said.
The festival is about readers, writers, and conversations usually in a Q and A format or a panel discussion.
According to McManus, this year’s festival is somewhat lighter than in years past. Here is the Main Stage lineup she described:
· Friday, Sept 22 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. - An evening of songs and conversation with Amanda McBroom
Amanda McBroom, who has been called the greatest cabaret performer of her generation is a singer, songwriter, and poet. Her songs have been recorded by Barbara Cook, Kurt Cobain, Judy Collins and many others. McBroom will be in conversation with MRAWF’s very own Michelle Oram.
· Saturday, Sept 23 from 10:00-11:15 a.m. - Re-writing Shakespeare with Dr. Ismaili Abu Bakr, Rob Armstrong, and Lenore Hart
Should books be revised to reflect social change? Balancing history, accuracy, and sensitivity, this panel of three literary luminaries discusses the shifting cultural norms which have prompted revisions in works by Roald Dahl, R.L Stine, and Ursula K. Le Guin, among others.
· Saturday, Sept 23 from 11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. - Leading Lady with Charles Busch
Busch is a talented playwright, LGBT icon, drag actor, director, and cabaret performer. He is best known for his memoir, “Leading Lady.” Busch will be connecting with and channeling the leading ladies of show business.
· Saturday, Sept 23 from 2:15-3:30 p.m. - Vampires, Batman, Wytches, OH MY! with Scott Snyder
Snyder, an award-winning graphic novelist and comic book writer will talk about his career. He has written for Marvel Comics and DC Comics where he wrote for the Batman and Superman series. He is currently serving as co-frontrunner for an animated television series adaptation of Wytches for Amazon Prime Video.
· Saturday, Sept 23 from 3:45- 5:00 p.m. - Festival Headliner Harvey Fierstein
A four-time Tony Award-winning author and playwright, he is best known for Torch Song Trilogy “La Cage aux Folles.” He also known for his performances in “Fidler on the Roof,” “Mrs. Doubtfire”, and “The Good Wife.” His memoir, “I was Better Last Night” - a NY Times Best Seller - is described as poignant and hilarious. Fierstein is renown as a cultural icon and gay rights activist.
In addition to these main stage sessions, there will be numerous free sessions at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and the Pike County Library on Saturday and Sunday.
The Science Fiction panel will be on Saturday morning at the library and the three-author Salon Series will be at the church on Sunday afternoon. More information will be available on some of these events closer to the date at www.milfordreadersandwriters.com.
Festival passes allow access to all main stage events and other festival events, as well as the private Author’s Reception held on Saturday evening. The passes are $175 and are available for purchase at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2023-milford-readers-writers-festival-tickets-631036074887. Single tickets to individual sessions are $35 and will be available to purchase at a later date or at the box office.