Friday Night Dialogues: Jenifer Maxson in a new one-woman show

Jennifer Maxson appears in "The Meantime" at the library Friday. (Credit: Charity Robey)

Jennifer Maxson appears in “The Meantime” at the library Friday. (Credit: Charity Robey)

Jenifer Maxson is a familiar face to Islanders — both adults and countless Shelter Island School students. 

For 17 years, Jenifer Corwin (now Maxson) taught English at the school. As a middle and high school teacher, she said she was committed to getting children out of the classroom and into the community, encouraging them to explore and to push themselves into the unfamiliar — education “outside the box.” She admitted her methods were sometimes unorthodox but she felt students needed to feel relevant to their own education.

She started a program at Mashomack Preserve called “Writes of Spring.” The students stayed overnight in the Manor House and kept journals, played trust games, wrote poetry and prepared meals together. “Writes of Spring” was so popular, it has become an annual event.

Ms. Maxson retired from teaching in 2012.

Her recent projects have included several one-woman shows, including “Coming of Age,” which she wrote and performed twice at the Presbyterian Church.

She participated in a staged reading of “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” by Nora and Delia Ephron, along with other Island thespians at the library.

Ms. Maxon performed “Red Hot Patriot,” a one-woman show based on the life of Molly Ivins, in August 2012 as part of Friday Night Dialogues at the library and again as a fundraiser for the League of Women Voters of Shelter Island at the Ram’s Head in October 2014.

She will appear at the library again as part of the Friday Night Dialogues on November 13 at 7 p.m. Her latest one-woman show is a work-in-progress, “The Meantime,” described as “broadly based on the baby boomer generation: the facts, foibles, distractions and joy of living  and dying during this period,” she said. “Given that we all are born and sooner or later die, I’m looking at what we do in the ‘meantime’ and maybe why.”

Just in time for the holidays, Ms. Maxson will perform a dramatic reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” as a fundraiser for the Island Gift of Life Foundation at the Ram’s Head Inn on Sunday, December 6 at 4:30 p.m.

Join the ever-colorful Ms. Maxson in the Community Room on the lower level of the library on November 13. Reservations are suggested; call the library at 749-0042.

Admission is free although donations are always appreciated.