Members of one of Rye’s 30-plus book clubs (at last count) want to spread their good fortune.
Members of one of Rye’s 30-plus book clubs (at last count) want to spread their good fortune. On Sunday, March 13 at 4:15, the public is invited to a special hour-and-a-half discussion of “Henry IV, Part 1” at the Rye Free Reading Room. Dr. Mark Schenker, Senior Associate Dean at Yale College and Dean of Academic Affairs, will lead the discussion on one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Wine, soft drinks, and cheese will be served after the discussion.
Allen Clark, a member of the book club in Rye that invites Dr. Schenker to lead discussions three times a year, has gotten permission from the Rye library to use their meeting room on Sundays, even though the library itself is closed.
“Mark Schenker brings a very special energy, insight, and freshness to every book our club has read with him,” Clark said. “I am hoping, if this initial event proves successful, we’ll be able to have Mark at the library three times a year.” Future events would most likely rotate between plays, novels, short stories, and poetry.
Dr. Schenker received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in Victorian Literature and has been at Yale since 1990. He has led book discussion series in public libraries for over 20 years, including the Greenwich Library and twice in the past in Rye. He also conducts book discussions in private homes throughout Connecticut and in Rye. In 2001, he received the Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar, presented by the Connecticut Humanities Council.
“Henry IV, Part 1” blends history and comedy, moving from kings and battles to ruffians drinking and robbing. One of the great characters of all time is Sir John Falstaff, who has some of Shakespeare’s greatest lines. Throughout, Shakespeare’s writing is rich and textured. And the setup for Prince Hal’s transformation (in Part 2) from youthful hell-raiser into dignified King Henry V rings as true today as it did when it was first performed, March 6, 1600.
To finance the series, guests will be asked to make a voluntary donation to the Rye Free Reading Room of around $10. The final amount will be determined by the number of reservations. And reservations are necessary. All who want to attend should email Allen Clark by Feb. 25 at firstname.lastname@example.org.