Welles and Woodstock

In front of the Woostock Opera House, May 2014

In front of the Woostock Opera House, May 2014

So I went to Woodstock. Not that Woodstock; I mean the village in Illinois where Orson Welles attended boarding school as a kid. He wasn’t born there, but since he had a sort of atypical upbringing biographers point to the Todd School as maybe the first stable environment he had ever experienced. He certainly made the most of his time there, and in later years Welles tended to think of Woodstock as his hometown.

What does Welles’ adopted hometown do to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the theater festival Orson co-produced so after graduating from the Todd School? A whole lot of events and exhibits! They bring in Welles experts (and I mean experts–these people knew their subject). They hold a film festival at the local historic movie house (We screened The Lady from Shanghai) and offer all kinds of other Welles/Todd School-related stuff.

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“Welles-stock” Is Coming!

Orson Welles spent much of his childhood at a boarding school not far from where I live: the Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois, a village northwest of Chicago. 2013-03-11 09.43.37
The residents of Woodstock are fully aware of this, and they’re planning big celebrations with film screenings, lectures, exhibits, etc. to commemorate his directorial debut in Woodstock in 1934 (this year) and his 100th birthday in 2015!

Naturally, I plan to attend!

The Woodstock Opera House

The Woodstock Opera House

Learn about this year’s festival.

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Photo of CarolCarol Brendler is the author of the young adult novel RADIO GIRL (Holiday House) September 5, 2013.
Coming this summer: a picture book, NOT VERY SCARY, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, from FSG.
Also by Carol Brendler: WINNIE FINN, WORM FARMER (FSG, 2009) a picture book illustrated by Ard Hoyt.

Grover’s Mill, New Jersey!

The marker is bigger than I thought!

The marker is bigger than I thought!

Grover’s Mill! Yeah, I went there, 75 years later. There’s a park and a plaque, and signs along a path with background info about Orson Welles and the panic broadcast of 1938, all on the exact spot where the Martians were said to have landed!

Grovers Pond is adjacent.

Grovers Pond is adjacent.

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