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Margot Livesey
Photo by Rob Hann

NEA Literature Fellow

Author Margot Livesey discusses The Flight of Gemma Hardy -- her reimagining of Jane Eyre. [32:40]

Musical instruments illustration.

Four National Heritage Fellows

Celebrate Traditional Irish Music

Charles Lloyd headshot
Photo by Dorothy Darr

2015 NEA Jazz Master

The saxophonist/flutist/composer talks about expanding the tradition and language of jazz.

headshot of Kevin Locke
Photo courtesy of Kevin Locke

Lakota Flute-player, Hoop-dancer, and 1990 National Heritage Fellow

By performing and teaching Lakota flute and dance, Kevin Locke brings the past and the future together.

Headshot of a man.
Photo Courtesy of Victor Lodato

Author, playwright, former NEA Solo Artist Fellow

Author Victor Lodato has written two highly acclaimed novels Matilda Savitch and Edgar and Lucy. Nearly a decade in the making, Victor calls Edgar and Lucy “my New Jersey gothic.” And he’s not wrong. It’s an epic novel that’s part mystery, part love story, part ghost story, part family drama. It is both unexpected and perfectly believable. It’s set in Victor’s native New Jersey, in a working class Polish/Italian family much like Victor’s own. But that’s where the similarity ends. Edgar and Lucy are a son and mother; and, while the book concentrates on one very difficult year in their lives, it actually examines their relationship over the course of their lifetimes. It has its comic moments and heartbreaking ones—both with an attention to character and language. Happily, Victor Lodato is as thoughtful and compelling as his book. In this podcast, we talk about his very complicated characters, his childhood in New Jersey, why he was attracted to theater, and his move to novels.

Michele Lowe
Photo by Laura Rose

Playwright

Michele Lowe discusses the process that moved her award-winning play Inana from page to stage. [32:07]

Headshot of a man.
Courtesy of Arena Stage

Playwright

Playwright Ken Ludwig has a resume most theater folks would envy: his ear and eye for humor has given him hit after hit. His first play on Broadway was Lend Me a Tenor which had already opened in London where it garnered some Olivier Awards. (When it opened on Broadway, it picked up a Tony). He followed this with Crazy for You—a play inspired by the music of George and Ira Gershwin. This tune-packed extravaganza delighted audiences as much as the critics—it ran for five years and won the Tony Award for best musical. His extraordinary run of plays include Twentieth Century, Moon Over Buffalo and Leading Ladies. His most recent play just had its world premiere at Arena Stage here in Washington DC. It’s a two-hander called Dear Jack, Dear Louise, and it’s based on the correspondence between his parents during World War II. While it has amusing moments, no one would call this laugh-filled, nor is it meant to be. It’s simply a story of two people who get to know one another and fall in love through their correspondence. In this podcast, Ken Ludwig takes us behind the scenes of writing and mounting a play, why so many of his plays are set in a theatrical environment and his deep life-long love affair with theater.

Billy Luther
Photo by Idris+Tony

Filmmaker

Billy Luther explores different facets of his heritage in his documentaries. His latest looks at a little known celebration of the Laguna Pueblo, Grab Day. [26:38]

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