Our Events


The Eleventh Hour, a new play by Cathy Tempelsman, directed by Claudia Weill

Monday, October 2, 2017 - 6:00 PM | Open to the Public | Members' Room | $25 per person | Advance registration required

A full-cast staged reading featuring many Broadway and Off-Broadway actors: Sara Topham, C.J. Wilson, Brooke Adams, Christian DeMarais, James DeMarse, Zachary Fine, Jacob Fishel, Amanda Quaid, John G. Williams, and Griffin Sharps.

The Eleventh Hour tells the true story of a deeply contentious investigation into the treatment of American soldiers in the First World War.

Helen Adams, a young woman from Boston, seeks the truth about her brother’s demotion and unlikely death on the final day of combat in 1918. She asks help of her canny Congressman, Alvan T. Fuller, who at first seems more interested in his lucrative new automobile dealership. He pulls the 66th Congress into highly partisan hearings into U.S. war policy—just as a victorious President Woodrow Wilson prepares his reelection bid. But as the mystery of Helen’s brother deepens, it demands the most difficult question: Are we ever allowed to say that a soldier died in vain?

This year marks the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, the country’s first major overseas engagement. The Great War set the stage for the world as we know it, from the intense debate about internationalism to the problems of modern warfare: entrenched, interminable, inconclusive. The Eleventh Hour combines fictional characters with real figures of the period and testimony from the hearings to revisit the history from a new and poignant angle.

Cathy Tempelsman’s first full-length work, A Most Dangerous Woman, based on the remarkable life of George Eliot, was a finalist for the Terrence McNally New Play Award (given to an American work that “celebrates the transformative power of art”) and the Francesca Primus Playwriting Prize, and had its world premiere at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, directed by Richard Maltby, Jr. A work in progress, The Eleventh Hour had an initial reading at Luna Stage in New Jersey in January 2017. Both A Most Dangerous Woman and The Eleventh Hour were nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

All are welcome to register by contacting the Events Office at events@nysoclib.org or 212.288.6900 x230. Library members may click below and log in to register online.