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Date(s) - 04/11/2021
Virtual Event Only
Host Betty MacDonald is joined by Verna Gillis for the Sunday, April 11 “Words Carry Us,” live streamed from Green Kill on Youtube.
To access the event, follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/…/words-carry-us-april-11-8…
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Verna Gillis has been performing “sit down comedy” standing up since 2010 when she won her first slam sponsored by TMI in Ulster County. The topic was Coming of Age which she changed to Coming of Aging. She was 68.
Her niche is aging, and so is she.
In her One Older-Woman Show TALES FROM GERIASSIC PARK – On the Verge of Extinction, she talks about childhood, the holocaust, addiction, aging, drugs, scones, peeing, and cancer. In 2014 TALES won BEST COMEDIC SCRIPT by United Solo Theater Festival.
With the death of her partner Roswell Rudd in 2017, she is the sole survivor of the band THE OLDERS. The video AWESOME & GRUESOME – A Ranthem is viewable at
Her books I JUST WANT TO BE INVITED – I Promise Not to Come (Life as One – LinersVer, I’LL NEVER KNOW IF I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE SAME RESULTS IF I’D BEEN NICE, and THE I OF THE STORM are available from Amazon.
Gillis has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and taught at both Brooklyn College and Carnegie Mellon. She did field work recording music in Peru, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Ghana and Cuba. Twenty-seven albums of these recordings are available on Smithsonian Folkways.
She opened SOUNDSCAPE in 1979, the first mufti-cultural performance space and producing organization in NYC.
She was the first US presenter of African Pop in 1983 bringing King Sunny Ade from Nigeria. The New York Times called it “The pop event of the decade.”
Writer/actor Betty MacDonald contributed to the writing of and performed in TMI’s “What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting.” Her essay “Before Roe v. Wade” appears in the anthology Get Out of My Crotch! Her work is included in the anthologies 80 Things To Do When You Turn 80, Open House, and the recently released Better With Age. Betty has read frequently at Spoken Word, a monthly gathering of writers and readers in Kingston, NY, and at TMI Project events in Rhinebeck, Woodstock, Kingston, NY. She presented her essay “First Love” for 650Read at the Cell Theatre in New York City, and at Vassar College. Her essay “Daughter of Twins” is on Youtube for 650Read’s Mother’s Day presentation. Her essay “Not Jewish Enough” is on Youtube for 650Read’s Jew-ish. Betty hosts Words Carry Us, a series of Livestream readings from Green Kill in Kingston, NY.
Following her early career as radio personality Tiny Lee, she became a sculptor working in Porcelain. For many years she was a correspondent for the travel industry which sounds great but wasn’t because she’s a homebody and finds travel uncomfortable and exhausting. For over 30 years, storytelling has influenced Betty’s work as a performer with Community Playback Theatre, an improvisational acting company in the Hudson Valley.