Friday Night Feature - 'Bridge of Spies'

Yes, more Tom Hanks
Yes, more Tom Hanks

Friday, February 26th at 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. - Bridge of Spies (2015) Starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Noah Schnapp, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch; Rated PG-13; 135 minutes. Presented with captions for the hearing impaired.

In this historical drama set during the Cold War, a Brooklyn attorney (Tom Hanks) is tasked with negotiating a prisoner exchange between an American pilot who was shot down over the USSR and a Soviet spy serving a 45-year sentence for espionage against the U.S. Bridge of Spies was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Matt Charman and Joel and Ethan Coen.

For more information, please watch the film's trailer.  Check out what else we're screening.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Sunday Matinee- 'Suffragette'

Set in the UK
Set in the UK

Sunday, February 28th at 2 p.m. - Suffragette (2015); Starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, and Natalie Press; Rated PG-13; 106 minutes; Presented with captions for the hearing impaired.

In this galvanizing feminist drama, a working-class laundress (Carey Mulligan) in 19th century London becomes radicalized when she meets a brave cadre of women organizing to obtain the vote. 

The Darien Library is proud to cosponsor this event with the Darien League Of Women Voters.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).


Men's Tailoring Class

Photo by jeremybrooks | CC BY-NC 2.0
Photo by jeremybrooks | CC BY-NC 2.0

Tuesday, March 1st from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.


Keep finding that your favorite garments have holes, rips or are poorly sewn? Learn how to alter, patch or adjust your clothing for wear and tear instead of throwing them out or paying too much for a quick fix.

In this workshop we will cover:

  • Hand sewing
  • Sewing buttons
  • Iron-on patches
  • Iron-on hems

Please bring in a pair of pants or shirt that needs altering, patches and quick fixes.

About the presenter
Chandni Thawani is a graduate of Parsons the New School for Design and Designer of Chaandu, a Collection of Indian & Elephant inspired smart and functional fashion. Visit her at She is passionate about eco-clothing and design and enjoys teaching Sewing and Repairing Clothes as a way of preserving the health and value of your clothes.


Learn a Language

Learn a language with Mango Languages!
Learn a language with Mango Languages!

Tuesday, March 1st at 6:30 p.m.


Interested in learning Farsi? Want to practice using your French? Come experiment with a lively, interactive method to make the learning fun, engaging, and impactful. Brush up on a foreign language or experiment with a brand new one using digital resources available with nothing but a Library card. No foreign language experience necessary, just a willingness to try!

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun: A Revolutionary Painter

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755–1842). Self-portrait, 1790. Oil on canvas; 100 x 81 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Corridoio Vasariano, Florence (1905)
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755–1842). Self-portrait, 1790. Oil on canvas; 100 x 81 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Corridoio Vasariano, Florence (1905)

Tuesday, March 1st at 7 p.m.

Living during the late 18th century, one of the most turbulent periods in European history and one in which women were essentially excluded from the official French Painting Academy, Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun defied the odds. A mostly self-taught but extremely talented artist, she achieved incredible success, even becoming, by her mid 20s, the favorite portraitist of Marie Antoinette. Forced to flee France during the upheaval of the Revolution, Vigée Le Brun lived in exile for several years, earning a comfortable living for herself and her daughter Julie by painting European heads of state. The painter’s fascinating, cosmopolitan life story is the the stuff of movies, avant la lettre.  In honor of both Women’s History Month and the Metroprolitan Museum of Art’s wonderful monographic exhibition of Vigée Le Brun’s work (running from Feb. 15-May 15), we celebrate this exceptional artist and cultural figure.

About the presenter
Over the last 12 years, art historian Larissa Bailiff has worked as an educator and instructor for MoMA, teaching more than 25 in-gallery courses. Her specialty is modern European art and culture, especially that of France and Spain. In recent months, Larissa has been developing content for a new immersive arts-education and technology company called WoofbertVR.

Submit Your Play for the Catherine Lindsey Workshop

Plays must be submitted by Tuesday, March 1st
Submit your play

The Catherine Lindsey Actors/Playwrights Workshop is excited to announce that the Actors/Playwrights Workshop, now in its 24th year, will present a series of workshops at Darien Library.

Playwrights are invited to submit their final scripts for consideration to the Catherine Lindsey Actors/Playwrights contest by March 1st. The musicals, monologues, short scenes from full-length and one-act plays to be performed will be chosen by the Darien Library Selection Committee. When writing your piece please keep in mind that the number of cast members is limited, only one play may be submitted per person, and plays must be 10-minutes long or less. Please limit your plays to 10-pages double-spaced, 12 point font. 

Four plays will be selected to be workshopped on Tuesday, April 19th and Thursday, April 28th at 6:30 p.m.  Interested actors are invited to audition on Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30 p.m. On Sunday, May 22nd at 2 p.m., the Actors/Playwrights Workshop will present the first public-staged reading of selections from the plays in the Library’s Community Room.

The Actors/Playwrights Workshop welcomes Actors’ Equity actors and non-Equity actors to participate, brings together local and regional playwrights and actors, and encourages a collaborative effort to create new plays and present a public-staged reading. Co-founded by the late Catherine Lindsey and her husband Robert, the workshop introduces original plays in progress to be developed in a workshop environment with the goal of the public-staged readings. Catherine Lindsey was a beloved friend of the Library and director of Darien Library Theater for over 25 years.

The Actors/Playwrights Workshop welcomes all interested playwrights and actors, with or without experience, to join. The sessions offer actors and playwrights the opportunity to work together to create original theatrical works in a supportive and creative environment, culminating in the May 22nd program, which will feature four staged performances.

College Funding and Planning

Image courtesy of flickr user juanillooo / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Image courtesy of flickr user juanillooo / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thursday, March 3rd from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Planning for college can be difficult, confusing and costly. Don’t go it alone. This is a great opportunity to learn how to make the right college choices and maximize your funding and financial aid results, as well as how to better prepare for SAT & ACT exams and achieve higher scores.

You will learn about:
•    SAT & ACT Prep Courses. Courses help students successfully prepare for SAT & ACT exams. 
•    College Profile Reports. Personalized report specially generated for your family that includes your student’s chances of enrollment at up to 10 colleges.
•    Merit Based Scholarship Eligibility.  This personalized report detailing merit scholarships your student may be eligible to receive.  
•    FAFSA & CSS Profile Form Completion.  Every year simple mistakes are made while filling out financial aid forms that cost families thousands of dollars. Don’t let this happen to you.
•    College Funding Analysis. This analysis will determine if your out-of-pocket college costs can be efficiently reduced.

About the presenter
Michael Alimo (CRPC; CLU; ChFEBC) is a 30 year industry veteran. For the past 15 years, financial service advisor Mr. Alimo has served clientele around CT & New England at his USA Financial & Tax Services, LLC. Committed to giving back to the community via educational workshops, Mr. Alimo has hosted many seminars for groups at libraries, churches, and social organizations about a variety of financial and planning topics.

Art+Feminism Edit-A-Thon and Exhibition Tour

Image courtesy of Art+Feminism
Image courtesy of Art+Feminism

Saturday, March 5th from 1 to 4 p.m.
Tour of the Feminist-themed Exhibition, "Cut-Up," and Reception to follow at Franklin Street Works, 41 Franklin Street, Stamford, CT 06901


Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not. Content is skewed by the lack of female participation. This represents an alarming absence in an increasingly important repository of shared knowledge.

Join us for a half-day edit-a-thon to contribute and expand upon Wikipedia articles relating to art and feminism. After the edit-a-thon, we will celebrate at Franklin Street Works contemporary art space and cafe with a 20-minute tour of their original exhibition “Cut-Up: Contemporary Collage and Cut-Up Histories through a Feminist Lens,” followed by a wine and cheese reception. Edit-a-thon will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and exhibition tour and reception will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Join the revolution!

Reference materials will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to to look at the exhibiting artists in Franklin Street Works' current exhibition for entry/edit inspiration, they are listed in the exhibition description here.

The Darien Library is proud to cosponsor this event with Franklin Street Works.

Meet the Author: Laura Silver

Laura Silver
Laura Silver

Tuesday, March 8th at 7 p.m.

Laura Silver, author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, will be our featured speaker.

When Laura Silver’s favorite knish shop went out of business, the native New Yorker sank into mourning, but then she sprang into action. She embarked on a round-the-world quest for the origins and modern-day manifestations of the knish.

The iconic potato pie leads the author from Mrs. Stahl’s bakery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, to an Italian pasta maker in New Jersey–and on to a hunt across three continents for the pastry that shaped her identity. Starting in New York, she tracks down heirs to several knish dynasties and discovers that her own family has roots in a Polish town named Knyszyn.

With good humor and a hunger for history, Silver mines knish lore for stories of entrepreneurship, survival, and major deliciousness. Along the way, she meets Minnesota seniors who make knishes for weekly fundraisers, foodies determined to revive the legacy of Mrs. Stahl, and even the legendary knish maker’s granddaughters, who share their joie de vivre–and their family recipe.

Knish connections to Eleanor Roosevelt and rap music? Die-hard investigator Silver unearths those and other intriguing anecdotes involving the starchy snack once so common along Manhattan’s long-lost Knish Alley. In a series of funny, moving, and touching episodes, Silver takes us on a knish-eye tour of worlds past and present, thus laying the foundation for a global knish renaissance.

About the Author

Laura Silver, the world's leading knish expert, is an award-winning journalist whose writing on food and culture has appeared in the New York Times, the Forward, and NPR. Laura has been a writer in residency at the Millay Colony, the Banff Center, and the New York Public Library.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.

The Darien Library is proud to cosponsor this event with the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County.


Undercover with Chris Pavone and Nicholas Roberts Fine Wine

Chris Pavone, photo courtesy of Nina Subin.
Chris Pavone, photo courtesy of Nina Subin.

Wednesday, March 9th at 7 p.m.

Go undercover with Chris Pavone and his world of international intrigue while sipping on some of the wines that are mentioned in his new thriller The Travelers. Following Chris' presentation, Nicholas Roberts Fine Wine will host an informal wine tasting.

About The Travelers
Will Rhodes is an international correspondent for Travelers magazine, hopping around the world to write about food and wine, about foreign cultures and glamorous parties, about local celebrities and adventurous expats. He meets a lot of people; harmless flirtation is part of his job. But the sexy Australian who appears at his Argentinean hotel is not at all harmless, and she pulls Will into a complex and dangerous game.

Malcolm Somers runs Travelers, has a beautiful wife and children, a luxurious apartment, private driver—but Malcolm knows that things could unwind at any moment. He is a classic overachiever, but it isn’t his editorial job at Travelers that often keeps him at the office late at night.

Chloe, Will’s wife and former employee of Travelers, is now working freelance on a few select problematic assignments but is growing increasingly worried that her husband is becoming a problem in his own right. Will has found himself at the center of a dangerous web, completely in the dark, and he can’t figure out what’s going on until it’s nearly too late: his marriage threatened, his career in jeopardy, his life in peril.

About the author
Chris Pavone is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Accident and The Expats, winner of the Edgar and Anthony Awards for best first novel. He was a book editor for nearly two decades and lives in New York City with his family.


Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.