Now in its twelfth year, Literature Live! is a BOCES-approved Arts-in-Education program designed specifically with middle and high school age students, their teachers, and administrators in mind. Plays are chosen from standards-based literature and are supported with teacher-developed lesson plans and reference materials. All performances are approximately 90 minutes in length, and provided free of charge to any school group, their teachers, and administrators. In the past, schools from as far west as Hempstead and Brentwood have enjoyed Literature Live! productions, and additional showings for those with special needs, including the Cleary School for the Deaf, have been provided, as well. With over 30,000 students and nearly 60 schools participating, Literature Live! remains a cornerstone of Bay Street’s Educational outreach programming.
As the 2020 presentation of Literature Live! will be virtual, schools from across the country can sign up for this free offering. This year’s production, while available nation-wide, will garner special appeal by the East End community, with its roots planted firmly at the center of the American whaling industry. Melville’s famous story of the whaling ship Pequod and the fate of its obsessive captain, Ahab (Harris Yulin), has become one of the most famous works of the American Renaissance of literature. The book established a later reputation amongst famous authors of the turn of the century, who praised the work for its portrayal of nineteenth-century American society and its romanticism of the whaling industry. Since its revival as a Great American Novel, it has influenced the works of novelists J.M. Barrie and William Faulkner, singer Bob Dylan, and artist David Klamen.
Literature Live! at Bay Street Theater is made possible by (list in progress): Century Arts Foundation, Bridgehampton Association, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Magda & Edward Bleier—The Dana Foundation, Fridolin Charitable Trust, The Graham Family Charitable Foundation, Irvin Stern Foundation, and the Town of Southampton.