75 Years on the Streetcar!

We have an Oscar winner! See story below for the TBGB connection.

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Tennessee Williams classic “A Streetcar Named Desire” and visit his “Glass Menagerie” at the Tampa Bay Great Books Council’s Summer Drama Conference, in-person, at the Compton Park Clubhouse (Tampa Palms) on Saturday, June 25th, from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Even the most hardened New York straphanger wouldn’t enjoy a 75-year-long streetcar ride, but that’s what it’s been for the Pulitzer-winning tale of physical strength and human frailty in steamy, sultry New Orleans that launched Tennessee Williams to stardom!

Chief Moderator and TBGBC co-founder Patrick DeMarco sets the stage for the day’s activities by leading the discussion of another Williams classic, “The Glass Menagerie,” in the morning session.

Veteran Great Books and OLLI Moderator Linda Feeney leads the discussion of “A Streetcar Named Desire” during the afternoon session of the TBGBC Summer Drama Conference.

Fee Waived, Food Requested!
Food — especially home-cooked Southern food — plays an important role in Tennessee Williams’ masterpieces, and — in lieu of a registration fee — we’re asking you to bring one of your personal favorites to share with others during our lunch break.

For more information and to register, open the event flier by clicking here.

Congratulations! 2022 Academy Award Winner Has Tampa Great Books Connection!

Congratulations to Robert Fyvolent who won an Oscar for producer of the Best Feature Documentary –“Summer of Soul”!

Robert is the son of Joel Fyvolent, longtime Tampa Bay Great Books participant and proud father of 2022 Academy Award-winning producer Robert Fyvolent. Robert received his Oscar last night as one of the producers of the Best Feature Documentary –“Summer of Soul”.

Photo: The four producers of “Summer of Soul” with their Oscars (L-R): Joseph Patel, Questlove, Robert Fyvolent, and David Dinerstein. 

The four producers of “Summer of Soul” with their Oscars (L-R): Joseph Patel, Questlove, Robert Fyvolent, and David Dinerstein. (“Questlove” is the professional name of Ahmir Thompson.)

This creative team joins previous Documentary Feature Oscar winners, including Walt Disney, Jacques Cousteau, Spike Lee, Ken Burns, and Frank Capra!

Above: Robert Fyvolent (left) and Joel Fyvolent (right)

Tampa Bay Great Books Gallery

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George Hyde, a member of the Board of the Tampa Bay Great Books Council and the Immediate Past Chairman of the OLLI-USF Advisory Board, asked the most active members of TBGB for books what they would recommend for enjoyment and enlightenment during our mandated period of social distancing. See what they choose and why.

If you enjoy the intellectual stimulation and social interaction that OLLI-USF offers, you’re probably a little miffed at how the Coronavirus is affecting your daily life right now and for at least a few weeks to come.

Let’s face it…government and University officials are taking prudent steps to protect us from a disease with disproportionately adverse impact on older people – “the OLLI Generation,” if you will.  Now we’re being told that one of the most important behaviors under the COVID-19 threat is “social distancing,” just as we’re settling into a schedule of Spring classes with instructors and classmates whose company and whose ideas we enjoy!  So, with OLLI classes in hiatus or cancelled, how can you avoid going stir-crazy?

We asked some of OLLI’s most active members for books they would recommend for enjoyment and enlightenment during our mandated period of social distancing, and some of their ideas are listed below.  The criteria were simple – enjoyable and thought-provoking reads with easy availability (by Amazon delivery or Kindle download, for example).

Linda Feeney of New Tampa is a regular participant and discussion leader

Mystic River

in OLLI Great Books courses, and was one week into leading her new course (“Up for Discussion: Memoirs and Novellas”) when the ban on public gatherings went into effect, putting her course on hiatus. Here’s Linda’s list of “Five Books to Curl Up With”:  “The Man Who Smiled” (Henning Mankell), “Mystic River” (Dennis Lehane), “The Plot Against America” (Philip Roth), “Villette” (Charlotte Bronte), and “Alias Grace” (Margaret Atwood).

Barbara Brown of Temple Terrace managed to complete her

Water Dancer

latest OLLI course on Bob Dylan (“Jokerman: Dylan’s Personas, Masks, and Music”) before classes were suspended.  A former teacher of English in Hillsborough County, Barbara is also active in Literature and Poetry discussions, and serves as an Officer of the Tampa Bay Great Books Council. Barbara offers these ideas to enjoy during this period of enforced social distancing: “The Mirror and the Light” (Hilary Mantel), “The Water Dancer” (Ta-Nehisi Coates ), “American Dirt” (Jeanine Cummins), “The King at the Edge of the World” (Arthur Phillips), and “The Mercies” (Kiran MilIwood Hargrave).

Finally, we checked in with Patrick DeMarco of Riverview, a co-founder of Tampa Bay Great Books and moderator of the OLLI Great Books programs for more than a dozen years.  Patrick’s suggestions include: “Wolf Hall” (Hilary Mantel), “The Italians” (John Hooper), “The Cider House Rules” (John Irving), “On the Plain of Snakes” (Paul Theroux), and “Twenty-five Books That Shaped America” (Thomas Foster).

There you have it – fifteen terrific texts to interest, inspire, and entertain you during this period of reduced social and intellectual engagement. Enjoy!

Tampa Bay Great Books

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Joel Fyvolent offer his input during the Fall conference.

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For the past 12 years the Tampa Bay Great Books Council has provided a venue for book discussions, conferences, and other cultural events. Explore our site to learn more!