Four students from Chautauqua Institution’s Schools of Fine and Performing Arts will take their talents from the Amphitheater to the small screen next spring as features of a documentary produced by WQED-TV, Pittsburgh’s PBS affiliate.
With three taps of the gavel, Chautauqua Institution President Thomas M. Becker will officially close the 2013 Season at Sunday’s 8 p.m. Sacred Song Service in the Amphitheater.
The Rev. Al Staggs can trace his love of comedic performance back to one moment when he was 17: His mother, who suffered from lifelong depression related to an abusive, alcoholic husband and the early deaths of her parents, was ironing bed sheets with a sad expression on her face. To cheer her up, Staggs jumped in front of her and impersonated comedian Jonathan Winters’ grandmotherly character Maude Frickert, wearing a wig, high heels and a dress. His mother laughed so hard that she sobbed.
Before going to medical school, Christina Puchalski worked at the National Institutes of Health, a medical research agency that typically treats patients who did not respond to conventional treatments. She began to realize that spirituality is important for coping with physical distress; despite their illnesses, many NIH patients had a real sense of purpose because of their faith.
Sickness within the health care system doesn’t stay inside the walls of a patient’s room, said Dr. Stephen Sagar. The entire system is ill, and Sagar believes the cause is a lack of compassion.
Sagar, a radiation oncologist and professor of oncology at Canada’s McMaster University, will speak at 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy in an Interfaith Lecture on the spiritual malaise plaguing health care systems.
Dr. Richard B. Fratianne retired 11 years ago, but he still drives to the Comprehensive Burn Center at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland twice a week.
Fratianne was the director of the burn center from its founding in 1969 until he retired in 2002. Upon his retirement, he promised his patients — some whose bodies are more than 50 percent covered in scars — that he would never abandon them.
Dr. Timothy Johnson began pondering the problems of the United States health care system in the last five years of his career as chief medical editor for ABC News. He began to shift his coverage from developments in medicine such as news drugs and devices to problems with the health care system as a whole.
“I started to realize how devastating the problems with American health care are in terms of impact on people, especially those without insurance,“ he said.
After 14 years of collaborating with Joan Brown Campbell, organist Jared Jacobsen and the Chautauqua Choir will celebrate her contributions to Chautauqua Institution at this Sunday’s 8 p.m. Sacred Song Service in the Amphitheater. Campbell, the director of the Department of Religion, is retiring at the end of the year.
Zeki Saritoprak, the Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University, considers Fethullah Gülen to be one of the most influential Muslim Turkish scholars in the late 20th century, citing his contributions to education, aid organization and interfaith dialogue.
Gülen leads the Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet, which began in the 1960s. In his 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture today in the Hall of Philosophy, Saritoprak will discuss the movement’s significance, as well as religion and culture in Turkey.
Some of the earliest remains of Jewish synagogues in Turkey date back to the second century, but many more Jews migrated to the area in 1492 after being exiled from Spain. They brought knowledge of the printing press, the trading network and gunpowder that helped to transform the Ottoman Empire into a dominant global power.
Ori Soltes’ Interfaith Lecture at 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy will focus on how Jews fit into the climate of modern Turkey. Soltes teaches theology, philosophy and art history at Georgetown University. He was director and chief curator of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C., for seven years and has lectured at dozens of other museums.