Schemel Forum Collaborative Programs Mix Spirited Conversation with a Scranton Twist

Oct 1, 2013

During the fall semester, The University of Scranton’s Schemel Forum offers four programs covering the future of Broadway theater, museums and other public treasures, education and terrorism. These Collaborative Programs, which are free and open to the public, feature University leaders and two prominent New York City figures.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Marsha Semmel, director for strategic planning of Scranton’s Institute for Museum and Library Services, will lecture on “Mapping New Territories: Musings on Museums and Our Publics.” The lecture will be given in conjunction with the exhibition of the art of Berenice D’Vorzon, whose work centers on sensual water images and gives viewers the experience of being in nature. Presented in collaboration with the University’s Hope Horn Gallery, this program will take place on the fourth floor of Hyland Hall on campus, with a reception to follow.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., “Speaking of Broadway: A conversation between Douglas Carter Beane and Paul Holdengräber,” takes center stage in the McDade Center for the Literary and Performing Arts. The colleagues will discuss the professional and personal challenges of “The Great White Way.” Presented in collaboration with Scranton’s Academic Theater Program, the conversation will be followed by a reception.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, playwright and screenwriter Douglas Carter Beane had two plays on Broadway this year – his own, “The Nance,” starring Nathan Lane, and his rewrite of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” A prolific writer of musicals and comedies, Beane broke through in 1995 with the screenplay for “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.” His “The Little Dog Laughed” was nominated for the 2007 Tony Award for Best Play, and his book for “Xanadu,” a stage musical adaptation of the 1980 film of the same name, won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical.

Paul Holdengräber is the director of public programs at the New York Public Library and the founder and director of the library’s event series, “LIVE from the NYPL.” Publishers Weekly characterized LIVE as “The Holdengräber Happening… [which] has brought intellectual sparkle to book events at NYPL.” He has curated more than 150 programs on an array of subjects. Fluent in four languages, Holdengräber has written essays and articles for journals in France, Germany, Spain and the United States. In 2003, the French government awarded him the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

On Thursday, Nov. 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., president of The University of Scranton, will lecture on “Engaged, Integrated, Global: Jesuit Education in the 21st Century.” Presented in collaboration with the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, this program will take place in the Moskovitz Theatre of the DeNaples Center, with a reception to follow. The talk is part of the University’s 125th anniversary celebration.

On Monday, Dec. 9, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Julie Schumacher Cohen, director of community and government relations at the University, and Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum, will co-moderate “Terrorism: A Global Phenomenon – A Local Concern.” The forum will address what drives terrorism? How should we respond? What do we need to know about our security and about learning to live in an increasingly interdependent world? These and other important questions will be discussed in a roundtable format, which is limited to 30 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Our Collaborative Programs integrate the Schemel Forum more deeply and broadly into the fabric of the University and also broaden our audiences,” said Myers.

The discussion, which is presented in collaboration with the Office of Community Relations, will take place in the Weinberg Memorial Library.

To register, contact Kym Fetsko, events coordinator, at 570-941-7816 or For more information on Schemel Forum programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers at 570-941-4089 or 


The Schemel Forum is a program of participatory learning experiences aimed at cultivating the intellect and the imagination through study and discussion of classical texts and current policies, from the arts, history and philosophy to technology and theology. Founded in 2006 through generous gifts to the Rev. George Schemel, S.J., Fund, the forum has grown quickly from a handful of informal lectures to a comprehensive enrichment program of study, dialogue, performances and special events. Session fees vary by program.

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