The Falmouth Academy Community Series kicks off its 2020-21 season virtually on October 8, at 7:00 pm by welcoming back former faculty member Clare Beams, author of the novel The Illness Lesson, named a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and the collection of short stories, We Show What We Have Learned that won the Bard Fiction Prize and was a Kirkus Best Debut in 2016. Beams will read from her debut novel and then have a conversation with Falmouth Academy English teacher, Monica Hough about her career and writing process. The event is pre-recorded and will air locally via various community television stations including FCTV, ORCTV, CC Community Media Ctr, Mashpee TV, Sandwich Community Television. It will also be available on FA’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
Since the start of the pandemic, Falmouth Academy has become rather adept at pivoting current live programming to virtual without sacrificing quality and the Community Series, sponsored in part by the Woods Hole Foundation, will bring online six virtual events this year for the benefit of the wider community. The early success of the pilot series of Postcards to Seniors last spring, which was produced in collaboration with Falmouth Academy and FCTV, laid a foundation for adapting the annual Spring Art Showcase and Concert, the Auction Under the Stars, and even the current hybrid model that brings both onsite and remote learning to grades 7 through 12. The series’ virtual format will open with an original score written by Falmouth Academy senior James Goldbach of Plymouth accompanied by drone footage shot by sophomore Marcus Greco.
The upcoming Community Series lineup includes a presentation by Amherst College professor of history and environmental science, Dr. Ted Melillo, who will be interviewed by Science Department Chair and Geologist Liz Klein in November. They will discuss Melillo’s second book, The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World, which explores the interesting and surprising ways insects shape and sustain our modern way of life. In December, Falmouth Academy Music Director George Scharr will team up with Steinway Artist and Smithsonian Scholar Robert Wyatt–both delightful showmen– for musical musings of the season with Scharr on Cape Cod and Wyatt in Vermont. Wyatt, one of the foremost experts on George Gershwin, will discuss his discovery of several unpublished piano preludes of Gershwin that eventually led to his co-editing The George Gershwin Reader, published in 2004 by Oxford University Press.
Information about the Falmouth Academy Community Series can be found on the school website, falmouthacademy.org/community, and on its Facebook page. Inaugurated in 2001 with an interview with Atlantic correspondent Robert Kaplan, other speakers have included NPR’s Bill Littlefield, host of Only A Game; former CBS Moscow Bureau chief, Dr. Beth Knobel; and Robert H. Pelletreau, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. The lectures, which celebrate community, are partially funded by the Woods Hole Foundation.