The Rae Dorough Speaker Series returns to Livermore starting later this month and continuing into the new year for a season that features big-name presenters and intriguing topics at the Bankhead Theater.
The program's 2022-23 lineup includes notable figures like Academy Award-winning actress and activist Marlee Matlin and famed Watergate journalist and author Carl Bernstein. The season opens on Sept. 15 with engineering historian Paul Giroux spotlighting the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.
"The speaker series honors the late Rae Dorough, a respected Livermore resident and strong supporter of cultural events," organizers said. "The series features provocative, entertaining and enlightening presentations on a wide variety of topics."
Each of the five presentations this season is scheduled for a Thursday evening in the Bankhead Theater in downtown Livermore. The Bernstein and Matlin appearances are presented by the Rae Dorough Speaker Series in partnership with the Livermore Valley Arts at the Bankhead.
For tickets and more information about the presenters, visit raedoroughspeakerseries.org or livermorearts.org.
Construction engineer and civil engineering historian Giroux will present "Building the Golden Gate Bridge" in two weeks.
"Using a combination of historic photographs and dynamic animation techniques, Giroux will bring the construction of the Bridge to life for the Tri-Valley ... the story of the daunting technical, financial, and political challenges that had to be overcome to complete the long-span suspension bridge," organizers said.
Giroux, who spoke about the Transcontinental Railroad in last year's series, will appear at the Bankhead at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15.
"After Ukraine: Can We Still Control Nuclear Weapons?" is the discussion topic for the October presentation by Gottemoeller, the chief U.S. negotiator for the New START Nuclear Arms Treaty.
"Gottemoeller will talk about past success during crises and lay out her diplomatic roadmap for the future of nuclear arms control," organizers said. "In doing so, she will reflect on the lessons learned from her own experience, described in her book 'Negotiating the New START Treaty.'"
Gottemoeller, who lectures at Stanford University, will present at the Bankhead at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13.
One of the most famous American journalists, Bernstein will speak in Livermore just before Election Day about his long career in news reporting and the challenges of journalism today.
The former Washington Post reporter and author is perhaps best known worldwide for his collaboration with Bob Woodward to break the Watergate story for the Post in 1972. Their subsequent book, "All the President's Men", was turned into an Academy Award-winning film that featured Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein and Robert Redford as Woodward.
Bernstein's appearance is scheduled for Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
As the season turns into the new year, Livermore will welcome Oscar winner Matlin in February to reflect on her acting career, activism and life.
Matlin won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in "Children of a Lesser God" (1986), becoming the first deaf performer to win an acting Oscar. She also co-starred in last year's Best Picture winner, "CODA".
"An Evening with Marlee Matlin" is set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16.
Rounding out the 2022-23 season will be Sapolsky's presentation in March about "The Biology of Good and Evil."
Answering the question "why are we the most aggressive and also the most altruistic of all species?", Sapolsky will explore "the origin of feelings such as love, empathy, and the desire for justice. How do our genetic inheritance and cultural experiences provide the context for our behavior?" organizers said.
Sapolsky, a primatologist at Stanford, will be onstage in Livermore on March 9 at 7:30 p.m.