On Thursday, June 28th, Robert C. Benchley returned to his native Worcester, Massachsetts, for an evening at the Worcester Historical Museum. The program by American Classic Theater featured readings and dramatic presentations of works by Worcester natives Robert C. Benchley, S.N. Behrman, and Elizabeth Bishop. The highlights of the evening were dramatic recitations of "The Treasurer's Report" and "Swing Music" by guest artist Nat Benchley, grandson of Robert Benchley.
Other performers under the direction of James B. Nicola were Barbara Guertin, Rob Lynds, Anna Marie Shea, and Derek Sylvester. The program included an excerpt from S.N. Behrman's Biography and several shorter pieces by Behrman, Bishop, and such authors as Charles Olson, Frank O'Hara, and Stanley Kunitz. Robert Benchley's friend and Round Tabler Dorothy Parker was represented by readings of "Two-Volume Novel," "One Perfect Rose," and "Resume." Readings of Mr. Benchley's "Rules and Suggestions for Watching Auction Bridge," "How to Watch a Chess Match," and "Watching Baseball" kept the audience laughing.
Other dates in the series are Thursday, July 26th and Thursday, August 23rd. Robert Benchley's grandson, Nat Benchley, creator of the one-man show "Benchley Despite Himself," will be participating on all three dates.
Attending from the Boston "We've Come for the Davenport" Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society were Andrea Cormier, Christopher Morgan, and David and Mary Trumbull.
American Classic Theater is a non-profit theatre troupe dedicated to the presentation, promotion, and celebration of American plays, playwrights and the American experience.
The Worcester Historical Museum, founded in 1875, is the only organization solely dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Worcester's unique history from all time periods and subject areas.