Megan Wells will return to the virtual Levy Lecture Series stage Tuesday, Jan. 11, to present a dramatization of the life of Clara Barton, the famed Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross. This free, virtual lecture marks the start of the sixth year of the Levy Lecture Series, created to “exercise the minds” of the seniors who frequent the Levy Senior Center. The lectures are produced and supported by the Levy Senior Center Foundation; those interested may register online via the Foundation’s website.
Wells has always worked with the spoken word. Her previous professional titles included actor, director and corporate communications consultant, which segued naturally, but surprisingly, into that of a professional storyteller. Her portrayal of Clara Barton will be the ninth time in front of the Levy Lecture audience, and it’s a love fest on both sides. Wells has a following: people see her name and go online to register, regardless of the topic. As a performer, Wells appreciates the hundreds of attendees who flock to and stay through her performance, and pepper her with insightful questions (via the chat function) afterward. It’s not the same as “seeing” an audience from the stage or hearing laughter and applause, but the warmth of the Levy crowd somehow travels through cyberspace and reaches her home studio.
This year, lectures will be held twice a month from January through June. The schedule through March is currently available online and accepting registrations. Upcoming speakers will discuss and present a wide range of topics, including:
- Jan. 25, “Astro Educator” Michelle Nichols will explain and “tour” the International Space Station;
- Feb. 8, Akbar Imhotep, a storyteller and actor, will present a historical dramatization of Frederick Douglass, the orator and abolitionist;
- Feb. 22, author Jennifer Armstrong will discuss her most recent book, “When Women Invented Television,” which focuses on the late Betty White, Gertrude Berg, Irma Phillips and Hazel Scott;
- March 8, Maryam Kouchaki, an organizational psychologist and associate professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, will discuss “Understanding the Persistence of Unethical Behavior;”
- March 22, Jeffrey Albaugh, Ph.D., the Director of Sexual Health at NorthShore Medical Group, will discuss “Relationships and Intimacy During COVID.”
Levy Lectures are held on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. There is no fee, but registration is required.