Opening Week

CHAUTAUQUA – Chautauqua Institution announces esteemed American author Roger Rosenblatt as headlining speaker during Week One of the 2014 season, which kicks off Monday and concludes Friday.

This year, the season runs through Sunday, Aug. 24. Chautauqua Institution’s annual summer season features morning and afternoon lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. The 2014 Week One morning lecture theme is “Roger Rosenblatt and Friends,” while the afternoon Interfaith Lecture Series theme is “The Fourth Gospel: Tales of Jewish Mystic,” featuring five lectures by retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong. Both lecture series are offset with various art and entertainment events that support the main cultural themes and appeal to diverse interests.

Rosenblatt’s daily conversations will be held at 10:45 a.m. in the centrally located Amphitheater. The author of 2013’s “The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood,” he is the winner of a Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize, a Peabody Award, an Emmy and two George Polk Awards. In addition to being a celebrated author, he writes essays for Time magazine and for the “PBS NewsHour.”

Rosenblatt will be joined by noteworthy storytellers: former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw on Monday; Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood on Tuesday; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout on Wednesday; Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer on Thursday; and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon on Friday.

Brokaw is a special correspondent with NBC News, retired anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” and author of “The Greatest Generation.” Brokaw has interviewed every president since Lyndon Baines Johnson and has covered every presidential election since 1968. Complementing his distinguished broadcast journalism career, Brokaw has written articles, essays and commentary for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time and The New Yorker. He is the best-selling author of five books, including “The Greatest Generation.” Brokaw’s numerous honors include the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and induction as a fellow into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a graduate of the University of South Dakota.

Atwood is author of “MaddAddam” and winner of many international literary awards, including the prestigious Booker Prize. Atwood is the author of more than 30 volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction and nonfiction. She is perhaps best known for her novels, which include “The Edible Woman,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Robber Bride,” “Alias Grace,” “The Blind Assassin,” “Oryx and “Crake and The Year of the Flood.” Her new book, “MaddAddam” (the third novel in the Oryx and Crake trilogy), has received rave reviews.

Strout won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her short story collection, “Olive Kitteridge,” which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Her first novel, “Amy and Isabelle,” won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize. Her second novel, “Abide with Me,” was a national best-seller and her most recent, “The Burgess Boys,” debuted to critical acclaim.

Feiffer is one of the most influential cartoonists in the last half of the 20th century. He has won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, an Academy Award for animation for his animated short, “Munro,” and had his first play, “Little Murders,” chosen by London’s Royal Shakespeare Company as its first American production, winning Best Foreign Play of the Year. He has written and/or illustrated 14 children’s books, including the classic “The Phantom Tollbooth” and “Bark, George!” Feiffer wrote the screenplay for “Little Murders,” which starred Elliott Gould and was directed by Alan Arkin, and wrote the play and screenplay “Carnal Knowledge,” which helped launch the career of Jack Nicholson. He also wrote the screenplay for “Popeye,” directed by Robert Altman, and which launched the film career of Robin Williams.

Muldoon is Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University and founding chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. Previously, he was professor of poetry at the University of Oxford. Since 2007 he has served as poetry editor of The New Yorker. Muldoon’s main collections of poetry are “New Weather,” “Mules,” “Why Brownlee Left,” “Quoof,” “Meeting The British,” “Madoc: A Mystery,” “The Annals of Chile,” “Hay,” “Poems 19681998,” “Moy Sand and Gravel,” “Horse Latitudes, “Maggot” and “The Word on the Street.” A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Muldoon was elected a member of the American Academy in Arts and Letters in 2008. Among his recent awards are the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Irish Times Poetry Prize, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the International Griffin Prize, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award and the Shakespeare Prize, given “for contributions from English-speaking Europe to the European cultural heritage.”




Held at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy, afternoon lecture themes often complement the themes of the morning lectures but capture a different angle of vision.

For this year’s opening week, John Shelby Spong will intrigue guests as he explores “The Fourth Gospel: Tales of Jewish Mystic.” Spong was the Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey, for 24 years. During his career he has lectured at more than 400 colleges and universities around the world including Cambridge and Harvard. His best-selling books include “Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World,” “Eternal Life: A New Vision,” “Jesus for the Non-Religious,” “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” and his autobiography, “Here I Stand.” His weekly online column reaches thousands of subscribers all over the world. His latest book is “The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic.”

He is a favorite at Chautauqua, having lectured here many times, often for an entire week at a time, which will again be the case this year.


Opening week festivities include the acrobatic performance of Galumpha, whose stunning performance was recently seen on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” MTV and Showtime. The acrobats will take stage in the Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

On Friday, “A Raisin in the Sun” will debut at 8 p.m. in Bratton Theater. The musical, set in Chicago’s southside, is the groundbreaking drama that charts three generations of the Youngers, an African-American family trying to find their footing in a racially segregated world. The show will run until Sunday, July 6.

A lively musical performance from the Canadian Brass will grace the Amphitheater stage at 8:15 p.m. Monday. The live excitement continues in the Amphitheater on Tuesday, with Valerie Capers Jazz Ensemble and on Thursday with Chautauqua Dance Salon; both performances begin at 8:15 p.m. Under the Streetlamp will delight audiences with a memorable vocal performance at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, also in the Amphitheater.


Day tickets are available for purchase at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office. Morning tickets grant visitors access to the grounds from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $22. Afternoon tickets grant access from noon to 8 p.m. for $14. Combined morning/afternoon passes allow access from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and cost $36. Evening passes grant access from 4 p.m. to midnight and cost $40. For tickets and information, call 357-6250.

Chautauqua Institution is a summer community located in southwestern New York State on Chautauqua Lake. It offers a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship, educational programs, and recreational activities. Each summer the Institution hosts over 2,200 events and 100,000 guests. For more information, visit