This Weekend's Show

Bob Edwards Weekend Highlights – July 30-31, 2011

HOUR ONE:

Jonathan Fox is the founder of Playback Theatre, an improvisational experience in which members of the audience tell personal stories, and witness performers act out those stories on the spot. Human rights groups, organizations that help the homeless, and disaster recovery groups have all hosted Playback performances. Playback Theatre began in 1975, and now there are troupes all over the world, including the United States, Germany, Australia, Britain, Japan, and Brazil.  Then we’ll hear part of a performance of a Playback Theatre company in Memphis. That city struggles with racial and economic segregation, and earlier this year Playback visited a community center that seeks to build bridges between different groups.

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Nancy Pieters Mayfield.  She says there’s nothing as satisfying as a job well done. In college, she spent her summers cleaning rooms at a luxury hotel. At first, she did the bare minimum, until the career maids scolded her and showed her how to take pride in her work. Mayfield’s strong work ethic carried over into her career as a journalist.

HOUR TWO:

Sally Wade, George Carlin’s “spouse without papers” for the last ten years of his life, discusses her new book about their life together. It’s called The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade.  A comedy writer and performer, Wade’s humorous account of their love story shows the softer side of George Carlin and features notes and letters that the two wrote to each other daily over the course of their relationship.

Words are like Lego blocks. You can use them to build whatever you want, from a stark, utilitarian structure to a silly convoluted mess. John Pollack celebrates the silly side in his latest book, The Pun Also Rises. Pollack has been punning all of his life, and in 1995, he won the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships. In the book, Pollack says that puns have been around since the dawn of written language, and that word play is an instrumental part of human history.