The New Canaan Historical Society is presenting a three-part lecture series titled "The Civil War...It's Personal" beginning on Wednesday, March 13, with speaker William Kauffman, author of the screenplay for Ron Maxwell's upcoming Civil War film, "Copperhead."
The lecture takes place at 8 p.m. at the New Canaan Historical Society, 13 Oenoke Ridge Road. Refreshments will be served.
Based on the novel by Harold Frederic, "Copperhead" is the story of the devastation and unimaginable loss war brought upon a family and a community whose strength and existence are tested by fire, rope, knife and betrayal. Culled from real events, "Copperhead" is the fictional story of Abner Beech, a stubborn and righteous farmer of upstate New York who defies his neighbors and his government in the bloody and contentious autumn of 1862. Kauffman will tell the story behind this soon-to-be-released movie in his lecture titled "I Don't Want Our Boys Dyin: Copperhead's Journey From Page to Screen."
Kauffman is the author of nine books, among them "Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazzette," which won the 2003 national "Sense of Place" award from Writers & Books; "Look Homeward, America," which the American Library Association named one of the best books of 2006 and which won the Andrew Eiseman Award; and "Ain't My America," which Barnes & Noble named one of the best books of 2008.
He was a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and has worked as a magazine and book editor for the last 25 years.
The evening will include performances by two professionals of the Summer Theatre of New Canaan -- Gary Harger, a Broadway actor and opera singer, who will sing songs from "Shenandoah," the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Harger was in the original company of "Shenandoah" on Broadway, where he created the role of corporal and toured nationally with the show. Also performing songs from "Shenandoah" will be Ben Simpson, TV and theater actor and recent musical theater graduate from Boston Conservatory.
" `Shenandoah' has heartfelt songs that convey the story of one family's conflict during the Civil War," said Melody Meitrott Libonati, artistic director of the STONC, who selected the musical program. "These songs poignantly reflect this period in our American history and the evening's program."
Accompaniment will be by the STONC's musical director, David Hancock Turner.
The cost is $5 for society members, Staying Put in New Canaan and students and $10 for non-members. On Wednesday, March 20, Rick Spencer will perform "The Greatest Hits of the Civil War: America's First Professional Songwriters" and on March 27, Howard Wright will perform "Simply Lincoln." For information, visit visit www.nchistory.org.