THE FESTIVAL

The audience at the Milford Theater during Gloria Steinem's conversation with Suzanne Braun Levine.  Photo by Charise Isis

The audience at the Milford Theater during Gloria Steinem's conversation with Suzanne Braun Levine.  Photo by Charise Isis

The Milford Readers and Writers Festival...

... was conceived when, on yet another cold and wet evening in March 2016, literary lawyer Bob Levine, author Suzanne Braun Levine, author Amy Ferris and Milford's mayor and author Sean Strub had dinner at Bar Louis and fantasized about the possibility of creating a literary festival in Milford. Less than six months later, with a group of intense volunteers and collaborators, the fantasy became reality and Milford staged its very first Readers and Writers Festival during the first weekend of October, with a star line-up of authors, poets, performers, chefs, gardeners, conservationists and more.

The Milford Theater hosted authors Gloria Steinem, MK Asante and John Berendt as well as Humans Collective. Grey Towers National Historic Site, The Hotel Fauchere and the Patisserie, the Dimmick Inn, the Pike County Library, The Waterwheel Restaurant and Bar, and The Columns Museum hosted the panels and special events.

The Milford Theater first opened a century ago as a silent movie house. When talkies replaced silent films, the theater was updated with a sound system and remained a popular destination until TV took over in the sixties after which attendance diminished and the theater fell into disrepair. Fifty years and several owners later, the theater was recently bought by theatrical casting agent and Milford local, Jerry Beaver, who repaired and renovated the theater without ruining its integrity and character. The theater is used for the annual Black Bear Film Festival, the Milford Music Festival, Kindred Spirits, special events, performances and screenings and now the Milford Readers and Writers Festival will be added to that line-up.