Friday Night Keynote – Stephen Tobolowsky @ Bearsville Theater
Apr 28 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

stephen-tobolowsky-woodstock-bookfestOur Friday keynote event promises to be an unforgettable Woodstock evening, featuring one of Woodstock Bookfest’s treasured friends: actor, writer and master storyteller, Stephen Tobolowsky, at the Bearsville Theater.


Perhaps you heard about his visit two years ago. He captivated the audience with a story about the unintended lessons he learned from a college professor. People who were there still tell us how much they enjoyed the evening. We’re thrilled to bring Stephen back, with his new book, My Adventures with God (Simon and Schuster, April 2017).


The quintessential character actor, Stephen Tobolowsky currently appears on The Goldbergs, HBO’s Silicon Valley, and Norman Lear’s new One Day at a Time. He’s appeared in more than 100 movies and more than 200 television shows in his career. His roles range from the head of the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi Burning to Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day.


His newest book, My Adventures with God, is a funny, introspective collection about love, catastrophe, and triumph, all told through the lens of his evolving relationship with the mystery that is “God.”


As Tobolowsky explains, “It’s hard to believe in nothing. Even cats believe in suppertime. As much as we love certainty, we are often shaped by the invisible, the unexplainable—something we call faith. We are inclined to acknowledge the holy. Even if it is only a paper heart we find in an old suitcase.”


Tobolowsky’s stories tell of a boy growing up in the wilds of Texas, finding and losing love, losing and finding himself—all told through the prism of the Torah and Talmud, mixed with insights from science, and refined through a child’s sense of wonder. My Adventures with God not only shines a light into the life of one of America’s most beloved actors, but also provides a structure to evaluate our own lives and relationship with God.


Stephen is a uniquely entertaining storyteller, and he’ll share his passion for the art of the story with us, via his insightful, poignant and hilarious true stories about life, love and show biz, followed by a Q and A.


The Donahue Interview: Robert Thurman @ Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
Apr 29 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Each year, the Woodstock Bookfest is honored to have WAMC’s Joe Donahue host one of our most popular events, The Donahue Interview.


Joe’s guest this year is Robert Thurman, the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies.


A recognized worldwide authority on religion and spirituality, Asian history, world philosophy, Buddhist science, Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Robert Thurman is an eloquent advocate of the relevance of Buddhist ideas to our daily lives.


In doing so, he has become a leading voice of the value of reason, peace and compassion. He was named one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans and has been profiled by The New York Times and People Magazine.


Radio talk show host and interviewer Joe Donahue is the Vice President of News and Programming for WAMC/Northeast Public Radio in New York. His show, the Roundtable, combines compelling guests with his intelligent questions, resulting in the kind of interviews Metroland describes as “distinguished by a blend of warmth and empathy, genuine curiosity, and sharp intelligence.”