Monday, July 2, 2007

Vonnegut recollection

Sunday, June 17, 2007
Wish he had said more

Would have loved to hear more about Vonnegut on this Cornell Sun post:

It was gorges. My first summer in Ithaca was the summer of '78. I was a 16 year old football recruit preparing for the hotel school.
I was two years younger than most of my teammates. I was intimidated by the reputation of the school. I found solace and accreditation while lying in the cold flow of the stream under the bridge.
I was fortunate to have a great roommate, Dave Kimichek, great floormates in our U-Hall and great brothers a Delta Upsilon. I was priviledged to study with great chefs, Carl Sagan, and meet my fraternity brother Kurt Vonnegut.
What a summer, fall, winter, spring that year of 1978 was.

By Jim Gibbons at June 17, 2007 - 1:31pm | reply

Posted by Hank Nuwer at 7:15 PM 0 comments

Thursday, June 14, 2007
Vonnegut on Broadway

Simonson's Slaughterhouse-Five Adaptation Aiming for NYC's 59E59 Theaters

By Kenneth Jones
14 Jun 2007

Slaughterhouse-Five, Eric Simonson's adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's anti-war novel, which was based on the author's experiences in World War II, is expected to make its New York City premiere in the next year.

Godlight Theatre Company will present the new production, aiming for 59E59 Theaters. Dates in September-October 2007 were released prematurely (an incorrect item appeared in the New York Times June 14). Future dates are being explored for a run at the Off-Broadway venue, but not in fall 2007, a spokesperson for 59E59 told

Godlight artistic director Joe Tantalo will direct the play, subtitled or: The Children's Crusade. The text was adapted for a production that was seen at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

According to Godlight, the creative team will include production designer Maruti Evans, composer and sound designer Andrew Recinos, fight choreographer Josh Renfree and movement director and choreographer Hachi Yu.

The Godlight cast will feature Daniel Ball, David Bartlett, Katherine Boynton, Alisa Burket, Enid Cortes, Darren Curley, Lawrence Jansen, Gregory Konow, Deanna McGovern, Nick Paglino, Aaron Paternoster, Mike Roche, Cyrus Roxas, Michael Shimkin, Michael Tranzilli and Sam Whitten. If the staging is bumped to 2008, this list may change.

According to Godlight notes, "Part history, part time-traveling science-fiction, Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a naïve American optometrist from Illium, New York, who survives the firebombing of Dresden, Germany by American and British troops during World War II. Back home, Pilgrim is kidnapped by aliens who instruct him in the nature of the fourth dimension, where time is an eternal present, and he brings this knowledge back to earth."

Simonson, a writer and director, received an Oscar for Best Documentary Short for his film "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin" in 2006. He was Tony-nominated for his direction of Steppenwolf's The Song of Jacob Zulu, with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. He subsequently directed an Oscar-nominated documentary about the acclaimed South African singing group. He directed and adapted Steppenwolf's Slaughterhouse-Five as well as the plays Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, Moby Dick and Carter's Way.

59E59 Theaters is at 59 East 59th Street (between Madison and Park).

Visit for further information.

Vonnegut course in Indianapolis

Note: I've seen Jim speak years ago. He's bright, energetic, and entertaining. Should be a great class. Hank Nuwer

from the Indy Star
The early works of a notable Hoosier are featured in a class called Discovering Kurt Vonnegut.

Taught by Jim Powell, the class will cover "Welcome to the Monkey House" (1968), "Cat's Cradle" (1963) and "Slaughterhouse-Five" (1969).
It's from 7 to 9 p.m. July 10, 17 and 24 at the Writers' Center of Indiana, 812 E. 67th St.
Cost is $75 for members and $90 for nonmembers.

Hoosier literary links
Speaking of Vonnegut, writer Susan Neville recalls a late-night phone conversation when she helped him recall the words to "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away."
Neville recounts that incident, calling it her "most important contribution to American literature," in "Sailing the Inland Sea" (Quarry Books, $19.95), a new collection of essays, lectures and interviews.