Thomas Edison and the literary imagination

WEST ORANGE, NJ — From “The Future Eve,” an 1885 French science fiction novel, to the recent motion picture “The Current War,” the life and work of Thomas Edison has inspired the imagination and creativity of novelists, playwrights and filmmakers. In a program that evokes this tradition, award-winning playwright Ben Clawson will discuss his own creative work on Thomas Edison at the fifth meeting of the Edison Book Club, Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. 

Clawson, who received his BFA degree from Montclair State University and co-founded the StrangeDog Theater Company, is the author of “The Dangers of Electric Lighting,” which deals with the rivalry between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla during the infamous 1880s Battle of the Currents. His other plays include “King of the Mountains,” about Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir’s 1903 camping trip in Yosemite National Park; and commissioned works for the Luna Stage Company, the Montclair State University School of the Arts and the Contagious Drama Theatre Workshop.

The Edison Book Club is a series of programs designed to engage readers with “Edison,” the recently published biography of Thomas Edison by Edmund Morris. The discussion for this meeting will focus on portrayals of Thomas Edison in literary works, but questions and conversation about other aspects of the Morris book are also welcome. Electronic copies of the script for Clawson’s “The Dangers of Electric Lighting” are available on request by emailing leonard_degraaf@nps.gov. 

The Edison Book Club is free and open to the public. Reading the Edmund Morris book is encouraged but not required. The meeting will be held at the Laboratory Complex, 211 Main St. in West Orange.

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