Building a “tradition” in Tampa Bay can be a daunting challenge, especially during the Summer months when the soaring Heat Index stifles many Floridians into physical and mental lethargy, and drives many others northward to Asheville or “the Cape”.

Yet, there are some Summer activities in west Central Florida that are rapidly approaching “tradition” status – the Rays battling the Yankees and Red Sox for a spot in the World Series…the Lightning charging through the NHL playoffs in search of another Stanley Cup…and literature-lovers from across the region convening for the 15th annual Tampa Bay Great Books Drama Conference!

This year’s Conference featured discussion of two award-winning plays by Yasmina Reza – “God of Carnage” and “Art” – with two of our most experienced moderators, Linda Feeney and Sara Cohen, guiding the participants’ observations on the fragility of modern relationships, the significance of minimalist art, and the interaction of at least those two plot elements.   Conducted in a pair of two-hour Zoom sessions on Saturday, June 12th, the event also featured brief illustrative performances by some of TBGBC’s finest amateur thespians to help focus the analysis on key passages, and an intellectual journey into the parameters that define Minimalist Art (two-dimensional, flat, “non-painterly,” self-referential, etc., as in the Rothko Chapel in Houston). 

Session evaluation scores were high – another TBGBC conference tradition – although there seemed to be a consensus that, after spending hundreds of hours in Zoom-type conferences over the past year, our loyal members would welcome the opportunity to resume in-person discussions once a “safe” environment can be reasonably assured.

Thanks to Linda and Sara for their preparation and guidance; Joyce Carpenter for arranging the dramatic performances; Anne Strozier for hosting the Zoom-cast; and to Tom Walker for the accompanying Zoom screenshot.