Spring 2017 Course Descriptions/Registration

Register for as many courses as you want…$265 for one or for all

How to register:

1.  Check off the courses you want
2.  Fill in the form at the bottom
3.  Click “Send”
4.  Mail in your check


Lessons in Acting

How do actors learn to act?  What is their preparation protocol?  How acting is (or should be) different for film and the stage.  An actor, teacher and theatre artistic director explains the different styles and techniques of acting schools like the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse.  Volunteers will be cast in brief three-phrase excerpts from both classical and contemporary dramatic material. 

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   April 4   •  1 session

Mark Baker has performed in theatre, film, television, at the White House, in nightclubs and in concert.  Tony nominee for the title role in the 1970 revival of “Candide”; lead in Tommy Tune’s “Grand Hotel,” winning the Helen Hayes Award for the international tour. Artistic director, Embassy Theatre Corporation in Maryland.  Acting study at Neighborhood Playhouse, Carnegie-Mellon University.

Register for: Lessons in Acting

MoMA Talks:  Robert Rauschenberg, Among Friends

Painter, graphic artist and sculptor Rauschenberg discovered the joy of living a life devoted to creativity here in New York City.  His long career started in the 1950’s with innovative “combines” using non-traditional materials and objects.  His remarkable friendships with creative people shaped his work and encouraged him in new directions.  This session focuses on five artists who exemplify the rich collaborative nature of his ideas and processes:  Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Niki de Saint Phalle, Ileana Sonnabend, Tatyana Grosman.  “Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends” opens May 21 at The Museum of Modern Art.

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   April 18   •  1 session

Jennifer Katanic, Course Instructor and Lecturer, The Museum of Modern Art.  Ph.D. candidate, CUNY Graduate Center, Art History.  This session is made possible through MoMA Prime Time, offering programs for older adults about modern and contemporary art.

Register for: MoMA Talks: Robert Rauschenberg, Among Friends

The Mandolin Renaissance: Everything That’s Old Is New Again

Having had ups and downs in popularity over the centuries, the mandolin is making a strong comeback.  Find out why, how, and where in an overview of its history and its distinctive features. Come away from the class with an appreciation of this versatile instrument, a quickened ear for a variety of musical genres – from classical to klezmer – and maybe be inspired to develop a new pastime. 

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   April 25   •  1 session

Carol Bloom plays in the New York Mandolin Orchestra and a chamber group of plucked instruments.  She read music before words, has played the piano and the guitar for most of her life, and began the mandolin in her 50’s.  Pat Bennett serves on the executive board of NYMO.  She came to the mandolin through her love and study of Southern Italian folk music; her research in this area was used in the production of the CD Songs of Trinacria.  NYMO, founded in 1924, is one of the US’s oldest continuously-performing mandolin orchestras.

Register for: The Mandolin Renaissance: Everything That’s Old Is New Again

Current Issues in Criminal Justice

This course focuses on what's new and changing in the challenging field of criminal justice, both in NYC and across the country.  We’ll examine how professionals, lawmakers and the public deal with several controversial issues.
Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   May 2, 16   •  2 sessions

Fred Weinberg worked for 45 years for the NYS Division of Parole, NYS Department of Correctional Services, Kings County District Attorney, Vera Institute of Justice, other agencies. Author, Social Workers with Guns, self-published account of his experience with NY, NJ parole agencies. BA NYU, graduate of F.B.I. National Academy.

Current Issues in Criminal Justice

Smokey Bear, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk, and More:  Public Service Communications for the Public Good

The non-profit Ad Council has created over 40 public service media and marketing campaigns designed to benefit the public in its 70+ year history. You've probably seen a number of these campaigns on important issues like health, safety, education, adoption, diversity, and the environment.  How these engaging and impactful ads are developed, their impact on the public’s attitudes and its behavior are discussed by the Council’s head of research.

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   May 9   •  1 session

Tony Foleno, Ad Council Senior Vice President for Research.  He advises the strategic planning of more than 40 public service communications campaigns and oversees campaign evaluation.  Co-chair of the Ad Council Research Committee, a pro-bono advisory body comprised of thought leaders in marketing, market research and academia.  Previously managed projects at Public Agenda, a non-partisan public opinion research organization. BA Swarthmore College, MA Sociology, Columbia University.

Register for: Smokey Bear, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk, and More: Public Service Communications for the Public Good

Insider View of Fundraising:  How Non-Profits Strive to Survive and Thrive

These organizations work hard to gain financial support for their good work, competing for our dollars.  A consultant to non-profit organizations explains the advice he gives his clients on how to nurture big donors and encourage small donors to pitch in to support their programs. Why are some campaigns so much more successful than others? 

Tue 10:30-11:45 am   •   May 23   •  1 session

Michael Jaffe, Managing Director of Mersky, Jaffe & Associates.  Fundraising consultant to a wide range of non-profit organizations. 
Previously executive director of major gifts for UJA-Federation in New York, president of the Jerusalem Foundation, NYU faculty member.  BA Brooklyn College, LLB Harvard Law School.

Register for: Insider View of Fundraising: How Non-Profits Strive to Survive and Thrive

Reading & Listening to Poetry for Pleasure in Springtime

This series of lectures with discussion will involve close readings of poems – classic, modern and contemporary.  Our aim is to discover the oral and aural values of wonderful poetry and what makes a “successful” language performance.  We will discuss each poem’s emotional truth, unity of expression, and attention-holding, pleasure-providing use of language.

Tue 1:00-2:15 pm   •   April 4, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23   •  7 sessions

Barry Wallenstein, Emeritus Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the City University of New York. Author of eight collections of poetry, most recently At the Surprise Hotel and Other Poems. Barry is also an Editor of American Book Review.

Reading & Listening to Poetry for Pleasure in Springtime

Modern American Short Stories

This semester we’ll read many of the stories in The Best American Short Stories 2016, edited by Junot Diaz (published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).  Diaz says, “Short stories are acts of bravura, and for a form junkie like me, to read a good one has all the thrill of watching a high-wire act.  When the writer pulls it off sentence by sentence scene by scene page after page from first touch to last, you almost forget to breathe.”  These do that – and they are timely.  I look forward to analyzing and discussing them with you. (CL&L students receive 10% discount at Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave. 68-69 Sts.)

Tue 2:30-3:45 pm   •   April 4, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23   •  7 sessions

Lisa Commager was a writer and editor for UNICEF in Kathmandu and an editor at Orbis Publishing in London. When she returned to New York, she taught literature and writing in private high schools and, for ten years, at Hunter College.

Register for: Modern American Short Stories


Juan Williams on “We the People”

A work of history told through a series of in-depth profiles, Juan Williams’ latest book, We the People, is “a view of modern-day figures who reshaped and affirmed the Founding Fathers’ vision of America.”  Williams profiles Americans who led revolutions in many areas of life – politics, immigration, economics, sexual behavior, and so on.  Among them are Ronald Reagan, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and Betty Friedan.
Wed 12:15-1:15 pm   •   April 5   •  1 session

Juan Williams, prize-winning journalist, bestselling author and political analyst.  Currently a regular liberal voice on Fox News Channel’s program The Five, columnist for FoxNews.com and for The Hill.  Previously host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation.  Author of the bestseller Enough; Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary; and Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. 

Register for: Juan Williams on “We the People”

Food for Thought

Food as a literary subject has attracted the attention of many writers, past and present.
We'll read some novels that illustrate how some use the preparation and, especially, the shared consumption of food/meals as a unique opportunity to study human relationships and their implications, ranging from the personal to the sociopolitical.  These texts provide good examples of how the presence of "food" may lead to the exploration of "thought": Isak Dinesen, Babette's Feast and Other Stories (available used at Amazon OR Babette’s Feast only available at ttf.org/product/babettes-feast); Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate; Muriel Barbery, Gourmet Rhapsody. (CL&L students receive 10% discount at Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave. 68-69 Sts.)

Wed 12:15-1:15 pm   •   April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10   •  5 sessions
Also l:30-2:30 pm   •   April 5   •  1 session

Pilar V. Rotella, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, University of Chicago. Taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Saint Xavier University, University of Chicago, Sarah Lawrence College, Chapman University; continuing education at University of California-Riverside, Marymount Manhattan College and New York University.

Register for: Food for Thought

Tragedy and Hamlet

Aristotle has it that "Tragedy is an imitation of an ACTION" – not, mind you, a plot action.  These sessions will focus on Hamlet to illustrate ACTION and explore what tragedy does to you when you see it.  Assisting Daniel Leary will be CL&L poetry teacher Barry Wallenstein, whom he describes as his “official class amplifier of voices, most probably an unofficial
and affable agitator as well.” 

Wed 12:15-1:15 pm   •   May 17, 24   •  2 sessions

Daniel Leary, Professor Emeritus of British and American literature, City University of New York.  Published widely on George Bernard Shaw, modern drama and Shakespeare.

Register for: Tragedy and Hamlet

Food for Thought (See description above for Wed. at 12:15)

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   April 5   •  1 session

Register for: Food for Thought

1940s Hollywood: Popular Culture as Art

During the 1940s, New York based art and literary critics brought a new seriousness to discussions about Hollywood movies. Instead of treating the studio product as middlebrow entertainment for the masses, critics identified key Hollywood movies and discussed their artistic and cultural significance. This course looks at the movies that helped inspire the new approach.  A screening of the classic John Huston movie, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, will be included. 

Wed 1:30-2:30 pm   •   April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24   •  7 sessions
Also 2:45-3:45 pm   •   April 12   •  1 session

Robert Hensley-King, visiting research scholar at Boston College, has written on the intersections of film and politics. He has extensive international academic experience, including Harvard, the University of Edinburgh and Ghent University, and has worked in Europe and North America as an independent filmmaker and broadcaster.

Register for: 1940s Hollywood: Popular Culture as Art

Opening to New Realities

Science, art, religion and metaphysics are all avenues for exploring and incorporating a larger worldview.  The quest of humanity has been to seek a theory of everything.  This course takes on the challenge by looking at the outside and the inside world to understand the nature of the ultimate reality.  PowerPoint, discussions and occasional guest lecturers.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •   April 5, May 3, 10   •  3 sessions

Alan Steinfeld teaches adult education on topics devoted to creativity and perception. He hosts a cable program, “New Realities” Monday nights on WLNY, Channel 57, and is the founder of NewRealities.com, a website for body, mind and spirit.

Register for: Opening to New Realities

1940s Hollywood: Popular Culture as Art
(See description above for Wednesday at 1:30)

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •   April 12   •  1 session

Register for: 1940s Hollywood: Popular Culture as Art

Makers of History IV

A look at some of the most dynamic people who have changed the course of history, for good or ill: Ulysses S. Grant, Freud, Gandhi and Catherine the Great. Busy with our own lives, we of necessity harbor cartoon versions of historical VIPs. If we like them, they are good, if we dislike them, they are all bad. These lectures show that almost all are complex characters, with good and evil traits intertwined in varying proportions.

Wed 2:45-3:45 pm   •   April 19, 26, May 17, 24   •  4 sessions

Manfred Weidhorn, Professor Emeritus of English at Yeshiva University. He has published a dozen books and over 100 essays on such historical figures like Shakespeare, Milton, Churchill, Galileo, Napoleon, Robert E. Lee and Jackie Robinson, as well as on cultural history, and the relationship between religion and science.

Register for: Makers of History IV


Fiction and Film:  Following the American Dream

This course is a look at immigrants who loved America and made good.  After watching the documentary Ellis Island, we’ll read Empress of the Splendid Season by Oscar Hijuelos, about Cubans who moved here.  Next we’ll read Mama's Bank Account by Katherine Forbes and see I Remember Mama, the movie based on her book about Norwegian immigrants.  Our discussions explore these novels and films, along with the experiences of our families and others. (CL&L students receive 10% discount at Shakespeare & Co., 939 Lexington Ave.68-69 Sts.)

Thu 10:30-11:45 am   •   April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25   •  8 sessions

Louise Terry, MA, Columbia University; college English instructor; Education Director, Accent on Language School.

Register for: Fiction and Film: Following the American Dream

Politics 2017

Nearing the end of its first 100 days, what has the Trump administration accomplished on healthcare, trade, immigration, the Supreme Court and foreign relations?  How are these actions affecting the Republican party?  How are the Democrats responding and preparing for 2018 and 2020?  What’s happening in New York City and State politics – and more.

Thu 1:00-2:15 pm   •   April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25   •  8 sessions

Lawrence Geneen, formerly Chief Operating Officer of the American Management Association and Executive Vice President of Johnson and Higgins. He is currently a risk management consultant.

Register for: Politics 2017

Pete Seeger’s Life and as Musician and Activist

A member of the Weavers folk ensemble blacklisted in the McCarthy era, Seeger went on to become a prominent singer of protest music supporting peace, civil rights, and a cleaner environment. His work helped to save folk music and the Hudson River.  Meryl Danziger discusses her book, Sing It! A Biography of Pete Seeger, looking at his life and times through the lens of music as a tool for change.  She’ll talk about her collaboration with Seeger and how the book came about.  The class includes video, readings from the book, and Meryl playing her guitar singing songs we grew up with. 

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   April 6   •  1 session

Meryl Danziger, founder and director of Music House, an individualized approach to music lessons for children and adults. Long career as a violinist, Meryl worked as a music teacher in the US and abroad. She has authored stories, songs, and plays designed to carry on the legacies of influential musicians. MA in Music, Goddard College. 

Register for: Pete Seeger’s Life and as Musician and Activist

The Active Aging Project

A television project of two long-term CL&L board members, Active Aging features short video documentaries about some fascinating, and sometimes famous, older adults.  Illustrating that age is no barrier to passion and creativity, the programs are intended to open up vistas for people 60+.  We’ll look at and discuss several particularly interesting examples of continuing or new ventures.  Active Aging airs regularly on Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   April 13   •  1 session

Rita Satz, Emmy award-winning journalist, received 8 additional Emmy nominations, the Society of Professional Journalists award, and many other awards for investigative reporting. Writer/producer at NBC News for 19 years, she produced the Betty Furness segments for the Today Show and WNBC TV, and investigative reports for Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Chuck Scarborough and many others.  Bernard Starr, CUNY professor emeritus, Developmental and Educational Psychology; director of graduate gerontology program. Op-ed/ commentary writer for the Scripps Howard News Service, writer of blog for the Huffington Post. Author of The Starr-Weiner Report on Sex and Sexuality in the Mature Years and Escape Your Own Prison: Why We Need Spirituality and Psychology to Be Truly Free.

Register for: The Active Aging Project

Why Preservation Matters to New York’s Economy and Future

The New York Landmarks Conservancy is one of the US’s oldest and largest non-profit preservation organizations.  In 45 years, it has provided $50 million in loans and grants, and countless technical assistance, to property owners.  Its efforts have been instrumental in saving the former U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green (now the Smithsonian National Native American Museum), the Fraunces Tavern block, the Survivors Staircase at Ground Zero, the hospital buildings on the south side of Ellis Island, and the great public rooms of The Plaza Hotel.  Conservancy President Peg Breen will discuss the organization’s work, and its past and current battles to protect our architectural legacy. 

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   April 20   •  1 session

Peg Breen, Conservancy president, is also currently on the boards of Preservation Action, Save Ellis Island, The International African American Museum in Charleston, S.C., and The Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville, N.Y.  She also serves on advisory boards for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Trust for Governors Island.  Previously held positions in government and the media.

Register for: Why Preservation Matters to New York’s Economy and Future

The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom

SOSS is an interfaith organization dedicated to developing and cultivating friendships one Jewish and one Muslim woman at a time.  Started in 2010, SOSS grown to 100 U.S. chapters, with a lot more in the works.  For many members, it provides the first real contact with women of the other faith.   A chapter leader and member talk about their own and SOSS’S experiences "building bridges and fighting hate, negative stereotyping and prejudice in a troubled time." 

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   April 27   •  1 session

Caren Singer, co-leader Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom New York City chapter.  Board member, American Jewish Committee.  Previously co-owner of small manufacturing business.  BA English, University of Manitoba. Sabeeha Rehman, author, Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim. Born and raised in Pakistan, living in NYC since her arranged marriage in 1971. Director of Interfaith Programs, American Society for Muslim Advancement; COO, Cordoba Initiative, multi-faith organization building bridges between Muslims and the West. MS Healthcare Administration, hospital administrator 25 years in US, Saudi Arabia.

Register for: The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom

Citizenship in the Age of Trump

The Trump era raises a number of important questions to consider about being a citizen today:  What does that mean to you right now?  How is citizenship similar to or different from these concepts:  patriotism, political participation, lawfulness and civic discourse?  What strengthens and what undermines citizenship?  How should we connect with our fellow citizens, including – and especially – those we disagree with?  We will discuss these issues together.

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   May 4   •  1 session

Bill Caspary, political science faculty, NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Ph.D., Political Science, Northwestern University. Teaching and research interests are democratic theory, education, ethics, peace and conflict resolution. Taught for 30 years at Washington University in St. Louis; worked as an educational consultant, ombudsman, and mediator. Author of Dewey on Democracy. Received the Distinguished Career Award in 2002 from the American Political Science Association.

Register for: Citizenship in the Age of Trump

A Psychologist Looks at Politics

Session #1: Personality disorders in the news. A number of observers have speculated about several disorders in discussing the president: narcissistic, borderline and sociopathic.  A Ph.D. psychologist explains their definitions, the criteria for a diagnosis and some theories about their possible causes. (This session is meant for information purposes only since, of course, professionals cannot diagnose people from afar.)  Session #2: Understanding Trump Supporters. Cognitive science, linguistics and neuroscience viewpoints help to explain their devotion, why they stand by him, apparently no matter what he does or says. What, if anything, could possibly shake this loyalty?

Thu 2:30-3:45 pm   •   May 11, 18   •  2 sessions

Betsy Steinman, MSW and Ph.D., in Psychology from Yeshiva University in NY. Retired social worker; worked with refugees in the 1980’s, hen in mental health with adult schizophrenics and later in private practice in NYC.

Register for: A Psychologist Looks at Politics

CL&L End-of-Season Celebration, May 25

Please fill out the fields below and click ‘Send’

Name (required)

Address (required)

Address 2

City (required)

State (required)

Zip (required)

Primary Phone (required)

Alternate Phone

Email (required)


New to CL&L? How did you hear about us?