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Curated and developed by

David Gullette

Directed by Bob Scanlan

Thursday, June 8th, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.

The Boston Athenaeum

10 1/2 Beacon St. Boston MA 02108

One of America’s Founding Families, the Adamses of Massachusetts have left us a priceless legacy of letters, speeches, histories, even novels that reflect the birth pangs and moral struggles of the republic from the late 18th to late 19th centuries. The writings of John, John Quincy, Charles Francis and Henry Adams, and of their wives and other family members—each generation with its contemporary concerns, but with an unmistakable Adams through-line—sing in our ears, and teach us who we are today. The first three generations wrestled in one way or another with America’s Original Sin, slavery, while at last Henry Adams had to admit that his refined sensibilities were a poor match for the chaotic democracy and industrial dynamism of an America rushing toward the 20th century, and chose to take refuge in a retrograde vision of medieval harmony. The actors of the Poets’ Theatre will bring alive the voices and preoccupations of these four generations.

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