We have been holding Parkerfest since 1999 at bars, restaurants, walking tours, boats, and deserted islands. But 2017 was a first: A charming play in a 19th century Army officer’s home. Thanks to actress-playwright Maureen Van Trease, who has taken part in many Dorothy Parker Society events, she brought and adaptation of her play to Parkerfest. “Those Whistling Lads” is a classic take on many Parker favorites. With the help of Natalie Wilder, we were able to celebrate on June 2 the upcoming anniversary of Dorothy Parker’s death on June 7, 1967.
We were lucky to be able to use the house on Governors Island, courtesy of the Empire State Center for the Book. The run the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, of which Dorothy Parker is a member. Plus we had Tom Potter, a partner in the New York Distilling Company (makers of Dorothy Parker Gin) kayak over to the island from Brooklyn!
A bonus for us was the addition of Mrs. Parker’s grandnieces, Nancy, Joan, and Susan, who came from Upstate New York to be with us. They had a marvelous time sharing stories with us, and we all rode the ferry to Governors Island together. We had a visit to the Shanty, to try out the Dorothy Parker American Gin.
Have a look at the photos, and we will see you in 2018!