National Library Week 2023 – Bon Appétit! with Julia Child
April 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
The week kicks off on Tuesday, April 25th at noon with a character portrayal by actress Karen Vuranch. She will transform into The First Lady of Food, Julia Child. This program also serves as the Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Library providing a brief update on Friends activities over the past two years as well as spotlighting the many volunteers who give their time and talent to support the Friends and the Library.
Before there was Rachel, Emeril or Paula, a tall, gangly woman with a preposterous voice and joy of life revolutionized the art of cooking for Americans. In the 1960’s, it was Julia Child who brought her love of French cooking to the American public. She became an icon of gourmet cooking and, using her remarkable energy and humor, convinced Americans that anyone could create gourmet meals. Child charmed the American public and the world with her joy of life and her passion for good food. Her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which she co-authored with two other women, has become a classic and her acclaimed series, The French Chef, began a TV career that spanned three decades and earned her the Peabody award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Throughout her life, she supported new efforts in the culinary world, such as the American Institute of Food and Wine, and encouraged new talent on the food scene, particularly women. She left an indelible mark on both the culinary world and the entertainment industry. When she died two days before her 92nd birthday in 2004, after complications of a stroke and kidney failure, the world mourned for this joyful and ebullient woman, who wished us from the kitchen counter on the set of her television show, “Bon Appétit!”
About the actress:
Storyteller, actress, and writer Karen Vuranch weaves together a love of history, a passion for stories and a sense of community. She is known for her traditional storytelling, plays based on oral history, and living history presentations of famous American women. She brings history to life through her unique performance style, which combines storytelling and drama to create an engaging presentation.
She regularly performs living history characters in Chautauquas, which are summer performances presented by state Humanities Councils featuring scholar/actors portraying historical characters. She has participated troupes from across the country. Her repertoire of famous American women includes novelist Pearl S. Buck, labor activist Mother Jones, humanitarian Clara Barton, Indian captive Mary Draper Ingles, Civil War soldier and spy Emma Edmunds, Irish pirate Grace O’Malley, Wild West outlaw Belle Starr, Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parson, beloved children’s author Laura Ingalls Wilder, writer and humanitarian Edith Wharton. Her newest character is Middle East expert Gertrude Bell. And, in 2022, she launched a performance of Mama Cass Elliot.
Karen has an M.A. in Humanities and is currently a full-time theater faculty member at Concord University, where she directs plays and teaches a wide spectrum of theatre classes. Notably, she has brought her own experiences to Concord and teaches Living History to her students. She has won many awards for her work in storytelling and performing. She still performs regularly for conferences, banquets, tour groups, schools and arts events. Visit www.wventerprises.com for complete details about Karen and her many characters.