Fireside Play Reading, hosted by Annette Munt, is an enjoyable activity, bringing together the IAS community to read plays. The group meets at 7:00 p.m. one Tuesday evening each month in the Fuld Hall Common Room. Annette chooses the plays, often centering on a theme for the year. Everyone who gathers for the evening is given a part to read, and there is always a break to enjoy some wine, dessert and the company of colleagues. There is no fee and no reservation required for this activity.
January 9 Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller (1949). Willy Loman, a salesman, cannot understand how he failed to win success and happiness. His quest for the "American Dream" has blinded him to the people who truly love him, with tragic consequences for himself and his disillusioned sons.
February 13 The Miracle Worker, by William Gibson (1959), dramatizes the volatile relationship between 21-year-old inexperienced teacher Annie Sullivan and her six-year-old charge -blind and mute Helen Keller. Unable to communicate, Helen is wild, unruly, and spoiled. Only Annie realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence.
March 13 In the Heat of the Night, by John Ball (1965; adapted by Matt Pelfrey, 2010). On a hot August night in 1962, in the racially-tense small town of Argo, Alabama, a black stranger, waiting for a train, is arrested for the murder of a local white man. But to the chagrin of the local police, their prime suspect turns out to be a homicide detective from Pasadena who, worse still, is then ordered by his FBI boss to assist in the murder investigation.
April 17 Born Yesterday, by Garson Kanin (1946). Brassy blonde Billie Dawn, a former Brooklyn showgirl, hits Washington, D.C., with her unscrupulous millionaire sugar daddy, Harry Brock, a crude and pushy junk dealer involved in crooked deals with government big-wigs who for tax purposes has put his business holdings in Billie's name. His sleazy lawyer, Jim Devery, pressures Harry to marry Billie, pointing out that a wife cannot be forced to testify against her husband. Embarrassed by Billie’s unrefined behavior, Harry hires journalist Paul Verrall to smarten her up and make Billie socially acceptable. Unknown to Harry, Verrall has been investigating political skullduggery and is interested in Brock's fraudulent activities, leading Billie to rebel against being a complicit tool in Harry's devious schemes.