Today, Saturday, May 11, you can spend the afternoon at the Hudson Opera House hearing an author talk about a very fascinating work of family history and return in the evening to enjoy eight short plays. The book, the plays are all the literary products of writers who live and spend time in and around Hudson.
At 4 p.m., Sarah Kilborne will be talking about her book, American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, A Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny. William Skinner is Kilborne's great-great-grandfather, and his story is truly remarkable. He arrived in the United States from London in 1845--penniless but possessing knowledge of fabric dyeing and an uncanny business sense. He got a job in a new silk mill in Massachusetts and soon opened his own factory. The silk fabric produced in his mill became one of the best-selling brands in the country, and his factory spawned a mill village known as "Skinnerville."
In 1874, disaster struck Skinnerville. A dam on the Mill River, several miles north of the village, burst, creating an inland tidal wave that destroyed everything in its path. In fifteen minutes, Skinner's life achievement was swept away. To find out how Skinner succeeded in turning this disaster into destiny, go hear Sarah Kilborne speak this afternoon at the Hudson Opera House.
At 7 p.m. tonight at the Hudson Opera House, Plays in Progress (PIP) presents an evening of short plays. PIP is a collaborative of more than twenty-five professional playwrights, actors, directors, and designers who meet regularly at the Hudson Opera House to read, discuss, and develop new works in progress by member playwrights. Tonight's "Short Play Festival" includes works by Jesse Waldinger, Byron Nilsson, Steven Somkin, Mary Foskett, Kim Sykes, Andrew Joffe, Kate McLeod, and Lucile Lichtblau.