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Williams and Albee coming to campus Montgomery Fellows

The Montgomery Endowment will again bring thought-provoking cultural figures to campus during the winter and spring terms. Author and environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams will be in residence from Feb. 5 to March 4 and one of America's iconic figures of the theater, Edward Albee, will be on campus from April 24 through April 27. Both Montgomery Fellows will meet with students and faculty, participate in classes and deliver public lectures.

 Terry Tempest Williams
 Terry Tempest Williams

Terry Tempest Williams

The author of seven books, Terry Tempest Williams is best known for Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, which chronicles the 1983 rise of Great Salt Lake, the flooding of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and her mother's struggle with ovarian cancer. The book, which was the summer reading for the Class of 2008, has become a recognized classic in American nature writing. Williams' other titles include An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field; Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert; The Open Space of Democracy; Pieces of White Shell: A Journey to Navaholand; Coyote's Canyon; Desert Quartet and Leap: A Meditation on Hieronymous Bosch's Triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights."

The Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in the Environmental Humanities Program at the University of Utah, Williams has been to Dartmouth twice before as the George Link Environmental Awareness lecturer. A passionate advocate for public lands and a fierce voice for freedom of speech, she has testified twice before Congress regarding the environmental links associated with cancer and is a strong proponent for America's Redrock Wilderness.

Williams is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship in creative nonfiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Community Grant. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide.

She will present a public lecture, "Circles of Community: From Castle Valley to Rwanda," on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 4:30 p.m. in Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall.

Edward Albee
Edward Albee

Edward Albee

A giant among modern American playwrights, Edward Albee has been hailed as one of theater's "eternal innovators." A three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he has also won two Tony Awards for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (2002). His works have been shaping the landscape of American drama since Zoo Story took audiences by storm in 1959. Critics immediately proclaimed him to be "the leader of a new theatrical movement" and, in the intervening decades, he has continued to delve into the most intimate and complex facets of the human experience. Albee received the National Medal of Arts in 1996, is a Kennedy Center Honoree and recently received a 2005 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater.

From The Death of Bessie Smith, A Delicate Balance, and The Lady from Dubuque to Seascape, his plays have challenged audiences with their stark representations of race relations, mortality and the often blurred line between reality and illusion. "The job of the arts," Albee has said, "is to hold a mirror up to us and say: 'Look, this is how you really are. If you don't like it, change.'"

He won Pulitzer Prizes for Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1975) and Three Tall Women (1994). Mike Nichols directed the 1966 Academy Award-winning film version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and the play was recently revived on Broadway starring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. In a review by Martin Denton during its run, the performance was described as "grueling, complicated, feverishly emotional, naked and perilous. Coming back into the light after three fraught hours in darkness with a family so archetypal yet so individual felt nothing short of cathartic."

A revival of Seascape is currently running at Lincoln Center in Broadway's Booth Theatre, starring George Grizzard and Elizabeth Marvel.

A volume of his collected essays, Stretching My Mind, has just been published by Carroll & Graf. In an excerpt from a 1962 piece, "Some Notes on Nonconformity," Albee wrote, "...Our talented people are improperly used if they become possessions; you must not possess them-you must let them possess you. You must not invite them into your world-you must enter theirs, be taken, and move deeper."

Albee will deliver a public lecture, "Theater Talk with Edward Albee," on Tuesday, April 25, at 4:30 p.m. in the Moore Theater. Ticket information will be announced in the spring.

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Last Updated: 12/17/08