|Wellesley High School grad Jacqueline Davies will read from her works Saturday as part of a program in a classroom where honored alumna Sylvia Plath once sat.|
Authors return for Wellesley farewell
Like many high schools across the state, Wellesley High will play host this weekend to a homecoming celebration, with hordes of graduates returning to see old friends and relive memories of their teen years. But while most of those other schools will host football games, dances, or pep rallies, Wellesley will host an afternoon of author readings Saturday featuring three alumnae who all went on to become published authors.
It’s part of a long-planned event called “Turn Out the Lights,’’ commemorating the 50-year-old high school’s legacy on the eve of its demolition to make way for its successor.
Borrowing an idea from other soon-to-be-demolished schools, retired Wellesley High faculty member Jeanie Goddard has been planning the big party for months, and the idea of including an authors’ panel has been on her mind since the beginning.
“After all, Sylvia Plath once sat in the classroom where the authors will speak on November 26th,’’ Goddard said.
The writers scheduled to appear say that speaking at their alma mater is more meaningful than presenting their work in a more typical venue.
Jacqueline Davies, a 1980 graduate who is an award-winning author of numerous books for adults, young adults, and middle school readers, but perhaps best known for her Lemonade War series, returned to the school for the first time in many years during a career day last year and discovered just how much the building meant to her.
“I left the room where I did the reading, wandered around a little, and suddenly found myself on the mezzanine overlooking the cafeteria,’’ she said. “That brought back such strong memories. The cafeteria is the center of your school life when you’re a teenager, and those were such important years to me. The teachers I had in high school bear so much influence on my life, especially Jeanie Goddard, who continues to be so important to me.’’
Danielle Joseph, who graduated from the school in 1991 - she’ll be attending her 20th reunion tomorrow night - even used a fictionalized version of Wellesley as the setting for one of her three young adult novels. “Indigo Blues’’ is about a teenage girl who finds herself the subject of much discussion and speculation within her close-knit town when her ex-boyfriend hits the billboard charts with a song he wrote about her. (Joseph admits the idea was sparked by the song “Hey There Delilah’’ by the Plain White T’s.)
“It was as a student at Wellesley High School that I realized I wanted to become an author,’’ Joseph said. “I’m hoping to see some of those teachers who inspired me so that we can reminisce. I wrote my first novel as my senior project at Wellesley. I still have it deep in a drawer!’’
The third author on the schedule is class of ’74 alumna Maurita Corcoran, who grew up on Abbott Road and describes the neighborhood in the 1970s as full of families like hers - Irish Catholic clans with five or six kids each. Now a resident of South Carolina, Corcoran published her memoir about learning to cope with the discovery of her husband’s sex addiction last spring.
Although several of the events this weekend are open only to alumni or townspeople, the author readings are intended for the general public as well.
Admission is free to the talks Saturday, with Corcoran scheduled to begin the program at 1 p.m., followed by Joseph at 2 p.m. and Davies at 3 p.m., all in Room 206-208 at Wellesley High School, 50 Rice St.
HOLIDAY GIFTS: The Sudbury Art Association kicks off its Holiday Market tomorrow in a temporary storefront in the Sudbury Plaza, 505 Boston Post Road. Work by local photographers, jewelers, painters, illustrators, sculptors, and potters will be among the items on display. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 24. For more information, go to www.sudburyart.org.
FLORAL IDEAS: Next Wednesday, the Westborough Garden Club presents “Deck the Halls - An Evening of Flowers and Music’’ featuring local floral designers Al and Paula DeLuca, who will discuss decorations for the holidays.
The event will be held at the Mill Pond School, 6 Olde Hickory Path in Westborough, where the doors will open at 6 p.m. Light refreshments, raffles, and a Holiday Boutique featuring handmade crafts will be available before the program.
Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door, or by e-mailing email@example.com.
JAZZ CHOICES: The Phill Argyris Sextet performs a night of mainstream jazz and original compositions tomorrow from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Acton Jazz Cafe, 452 Great Road, Acton. Admission is $12, $10 in advance. Call 978-263-6161 or go to www.actonjazzcafe.com.
On Saturday, Calliope’s 12th annual Jazz Coffeehouse features Mark and Glenn Zaleski from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Calliope Theatre, 150 Main St. in Boylston. Admission is $15. For reservations, call 508-869-6887 or visit www.calliopeproductions.org.
“POPPINS’’ RETURNS: It’s an annual tradition for Thanksgiving weekend, when the Regent Theatre in Arlington presents a singalong version of “Mary Poppins’’ featuring on-screen lyrics, and a slate of audience-participation activities led by a master of ceremonies.
Fans of the classic Hollywood musical can dig into a bag of play-along props, and there will be a costume parade at the start of each screening.
The shows are tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m.; Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Regent, 7 Medford St. in Arlington.
Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and children, and $10 for Regent members and groups of 10 or more. For tickets, directions, and more information, call 781-646-4849 or go to www.regenttheatre.com.
TRIPLE PLAY ON STAGE: The New Repertory Theatre opens its production of “Three Viewings’’ at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St. in Watertown.
The play, by award-winning author Jeffrey Hatcher, offers three narratives exploring how love, money, and compassion define individual relationships and perceptions of life.
Tickets for the run, which continues through Dec. 18, are $35 general admission, with discounts for New Rep members, seniors, and students.
For performance schedules, advance tickets and more information, call 617-923-8487 or go to www.newrep.org.
Send ideas for the Arts column to firstname.lastname@example.org.