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Sarah Ruhl discusses LETTERS FROM MAX

Join us for an evening with distinguished author and playwright Sarah Ruhl as she discusses Letters From Max, a collection of correspondence with her student, the late poet Max Ritvo. Ruhl will appear in conversation with director Jessica Thebus. A Q&A and book signing will follow the discussion.

About the book:

In 2012, Sarah Ruhl was a distinguished author and playwright, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Max Ritvo, a student in her playwriting class at Yale University, was an exuberant, opinionated, and highly gifted poet. He was also in remission from pediatric cancer.

Over the next four years—in which Ritvo’s illness returned and his health declined, even as his productivity bloomed—the two exchanged letters that spark with urgency, humor, and the desire for connection. Reincarnation, books, the afterlife as an Amtrak quiet car, good soup: in Ruhl and Ritvo’s correspondence, all ideas are fair, nourishing game, shared and debated in a spirit of generosity and love. “We’ll always know one another forever, however long ever is,” Ritvo writes. “And that’s all I want—is to know you forever.”

Studded with poems and songs, Letters from Max is a deeply moving portrait of a friendship, and a shimmering exploration of love, art, mortality, and the afterlife.

About Sarah Ruhl:

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee), The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize finalist, winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); Passion Play, a cycleDead Man’s Cell Phone (winner of the Helen Hayes Award); and, most recently, Stage Kiss and Dear Elizabeth. She has been the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a midcareer playwright. Her collection of essays 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2014. She is currently on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

About Jessica Thebus:

Jessica Thebus is a theater director, adaptor, spectacle creator and educator.  She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, and is currently Director of the MFA Program in Directing at Northwestern.  Recently, she directed The Book of Will  by Lauren Gunderson and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon at Northlight Theater (Jeff Award for Best New Work), adapted and directed Shining Lives: a Musical also at Northlight Theater (Jeff award nomination for Best New Work), and directed Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson at the Goodman Theatre (where she previously directed both The Clean House and the world premiere of Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl). Jessica has also been a long-time associate of Steppenwolf Theater Company where she directed large spectacle evenings at Millenium Park, as well as the plays Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason, Intimate Apparel by Lynn NottageDead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl, and many others.  Jessica has directed plays at numerous other Chicago Area theaters including Lookingglass, Court Theater, Writer’s Theater, Redmoon Theater, About Face Theater and the Piven Theater Workshop.  Favorite projects nationally include:  As You Like It at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel at The Huntington Theatre, Harriet Jacobs by Lydia Diamond at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s world premiere of Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter by Julie Marie Myatt.  Her on-going project A Persephone Pageant is an interactive, family-friendly performance weaving together mythic tales of nature gods and true stories of environmental justice. She is also creator and director of ROUGH MAGIC—a pop-up theater and social justice celebration in Chicago. 
 
 
Letters from Max: A Book of Friendship Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781571313690
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 11th, 2018

Event date: 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Unabridged Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL 60657
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