Apr 8th * 2pm – 4pm

Emily Dickenson Poems

Oldcastle Theatre will host a literary tea on Sunday, April 8, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.with Lea Newman reading some of the poems of Emily Dickinson and discussing her book Emily Dickinson “Virgin Recluse” and Rebel and the stories behind some of Dickinson’s poems.

Newman, who is Professor Emerita at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, also is the author of four other books and has long been associated with Oldcastle Theatre. She attended the very first performance ever staged by the theater, which was “The Hollow Crown” in the Park-McCullough House Carriage Barn back in 1972, and served on the theatre’s board for seven years.

The tea will be a traditional British afternoon tea with sweet and savory treats, including gluten free options, and an “Emily Dickinson Jasmine Tea” donated by the Simpson & Vail Company, which has a series of “Literary Teas” named for famous literary figures, including the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe. The Poe tea is a deep blood red color while the Dickinson tea has hints of jasmine flowers and roses, both of which she grew in her garden.

Newman grew up as Lea Bertani in the “Little Italy” section of Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s and entered school speaking no English at all, just Italian. She earned a full scholarship to Chicago Teachers College and was the mother of five when she got her master’s degree at Wayne State University. She later earned a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and spent a year on a Fulbright teaching fellowship at the University of Bologna, in Italy. She also was a founder of the Robert Frost Stone House Museum, and has written books about Frost, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, and about growing up Italian in Chicago.

The Literary Tea, which will become an annual fund-raiser at Oldcastle, will be held in the theatre at 331 Main Street.
The cost is $25, and tickets, which are selling fast for what likely will be a sold out event, can be bought at Powers Market in North Bennington, at the Bennington Bookshop, and at Oldcastle Theatre.