Celebrating the freedom to read and write in an entertaining program, “Ithaca Out Loud” showcased the talents of popular local actors reading selections from the works of five nationally recognized local authors. Ithaca City of Asylum and the Tompkins County Public Library hosted the program, ICOA’s Voices of Freedom event for 2014.
• Holly Adams read “One Hundred Dead Pilgrims” by Eleanor Henderson.
• Dave Romm read from Romancing Spain by Lamar Herrin.
• Phil Hart read “The Black Swans” by Alison Lurie.
• Dick Furnas read poetry by Caroline Manring.
• Masa Gibson read “Maintenance” by Jacob White.
“Ithaca Out Loud” took place on Thursday, November 20, to a full crowd in the BorgWarner Community Meeting Room at the library. Everyone had a great time, especially after the performances when the audience was able to mingle with the authors and actors and engage in informal discussions over refreshments.
- Eleanor Henderson, a professor in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College, is the author of numerous short stories and essays and the novel Ten Thousand Saints, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2011 by the New York Times.
- Lamar Herrin’s most recent novel is Fractures (2013). His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, Epoch, and the Paris Review, which awarded him its Aga Kahn fiction prize. His novel The Lies Boys Tell won the Associated Writing Programs’ fiction award.
- Alison Lurie, is the author of ten novels, including Foreign Affairs (Pulitzer Prize 1985). An authority on children’s literature, her most recent work, The Language of Houses, is a study of the social psychology of architecture.
- Caroline Manring, who teaches in the English Department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is the author most recently of the collection Manual for Extinction and a poetry editor of the Seneca Review. She is the winner of the 2012 National Poetry Review Book Contest.
- Jacob White is the author of the story collection Being Dead in South Carolina. His fiction has appeared in many journals, including the Georgia Review, New Letters, Salt Hill, and the Sewanee Review, from which he received the Andrew Lytle Prize in Fiction.
- Holly Adams, a member of SAF/AFTA, has performed on stage, in film, and as a narrator of audiobooks.
- Dick Furnas, the proprietor of a company specializing in data analysis software for ecology, has performed in several ensemble productions of the Ithaca Theater Company’s Actors Workshop and in many Ithaca College student films.
- Masa Gibson, a former opera singer, has appeared locally with Theater Incognita and the Readers Theater of Ithaca, as well as in film, on television, and in web series.
- Philip Hart is an aspiring actor and voice artist residing in Syracuse, NY. Currently a student at the Actors Workshop of Ithaca, he hopes to pursue acting as a full-time endeavor.
- David Romm, a longtime member of the Ithaca theater community, has appeared on stage at the Hangar Theater and in Ithaca College films.
Voices of Freedom 2014 was funded in part by a New York State grant administered by the Community Arts Partnership. Ithaca City of Asylum, a partnership of the Ithaca community, Ithaca College, and Cornell University, is part of a worldwide network of cities of asylum, supporting writers whose works are suppressed, whose lives are threatened, whose cultures are vanishing, and whose languages are endangered. The most recent writer, Sonali Samarasinghe from Sri Lanka, has been teaching at Ithaca College and was featured in several local newspaper articles, including the Ithaca Times.