Mark Ruffalo

Actor, director, and climate change activist

This event will feature an interview/Q&A style format.

Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Emmy nominee Mark Ruffalo is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors, easily moving between stage and screen and working with directors including Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, Spike Jonze, David Fincher, Fernando Meirelles, and Michel Gondry. Recently, he has earned accolades for his starring roles in “Spotlight,” “Infinitely Polar Bear,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Normal Heart,” “Begin Again,” “Now You See Me,” and “The Kids are Alright.” Most recently, Ruffalo starred in the Roundabout Theater Company revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price” on Broadway, which ran from February 2017 to April 2017.

When not working in film or theater, Ruffalo advocates for addressing climate change and increasing renewable energy. In March 2011, he co-founded Water Defense to raise awareness about energy extraction impact on water and the public health. A regular contributor to the Guardian and the Huffington Post, Mark has received the Global Green Millennium Award for Environmental Leadership, and the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation Award. He was named one of Time magazine’s “People Who Mattered” in 2011 and received The Big Fish Award from Riverkeeper in 2013. Ruffalo helped launch The Solutions Project in 2012 as part of his mission to share science, business and culture that demonstrates the feasibility of renewable energy.

In 2015, Ruffalo starred in Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer’s Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight.” The film followed The Boston Globe’s coverage of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal for which the newspaper won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The film won Best Picture at the 2016 Academy Awards, and Ruffalo received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance. The cast of the film was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Ruffalo also received a Golden Globe nomination this past year for his role in the Sony Pictures Classic film “Infinitely Polar Bear.” Ruffalo starred opposite Zoe Saldana as a bipolar husband and father who goes off his medication and proceeds to lose both his job and sanity, while struggling to hold onto his marriage. Earlier in 2015, Ruffalo reprised his role as Bruce Banner ‘The Hulk’ in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the hit sequel to “The Avengers.” Directed by Joss Whedon, the film reunited Ruffalo with co-stars Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Robert Downey Jr. In 2014, Ruffalo received Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA nominations for his role as the late Olympic wrestler David Schultz in “Foxcatcher.” The film also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Ruffalo received a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, for his role as gay rights activist Ned Weeks in the HBO film “The Normal Heart,” based on the play by Larry Kramer. Directed by Ryan Murphy, the film also starred Julia Roberts and Matt Bomer. The film received a total of 16 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Television Movie. It also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. That same year, Ruffalo starred in John Carney’s “Begin Again,” alongside Keira Knightley and Hailee Steinfeld.

Ruffalo earned Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Independent Spirit Award nominations for his performance in Focus Features’ “The Kids are Alright,” directed by Lisa Cholodenko. He was also honored with the Best Supporting Actor Award by the New York Film Critics Circle. In 2011, Ruffalo made his directorial debut with “Sympathy for Delicious,” which starred Orlando Bloom and Laura Linney and won the Special Jury Prize for dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2006, Ruffalo made his Tony Award-nominated Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing!” Ruffalo earned critical recognition in 2000 for his role in Kenneth Lonergan’s “You Can Count on Me,” opposite Laura Linney and Matthew Broderick. The Martin Scorsese-produced film won the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ for best film in dramatic competition and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.

Ruffalo’s other film credits include “Thanks for Sharing,” “Now You See Me,” “Shutter Island,” “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” “Zodiac,” “The Brothers Bloom,” “Collateral,” “13 Going on 30,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “In The Cut,” “Margaret,” “Blindness,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Reservation Road,” “All the King’s Men,” “What Doesn’t Kill You,” “My Life Without Me,” “The Last Castle,” “Windtalkers,” “XX/XY,” “Committed,” “Ride With the Devil,” “Studio 54,” “Safe Men,” “The Last Big Thing,” “Fish in the Bathtub” and “Life/Drawing.”

Ruffalo’s acting roots lie in the theater, where he first gained attention starring in the off-Broadway production of “This is Our Youth,” for which he won a Lucille Award for Best Actor. In 2000, he was seen in the Off-Broadway production “The Moment When,” a play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner James Lapine. He made his theater debut in “Avenue A” at The Cast Theater.

A writer, director and producer, Ruffalo co-wrote the screenplay for the independent film “The Destiny of Marty Fine.” In 2000, he directed Timothy McNeil’s original play Margaret at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. Ruffalo has also received Dramalogue and Theater World Awards. Ruffalo resides with his family in New York.

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You may also like: Dr. Temple Grandin, Ted KoppelMitch Albom, and Rita Moreno

August 3 | The 2017-2018 Season is Here!

Hooray! Our complete 2017-2018 season has been announced. This year we are proud to bring you thoughtful speakers, uproarious comedians, and captivating live music — plus family favorites, powerful plays, and classic films galore.

“Putting together a season is always an adventure, as our goal is to present a diverse list of events,” says John Healey, our Executive Theater Manager. “The upcoming season presents some old favorites, but quite a few newcomers that help us fulfill our mission.”

Our 39th season of live entertainment kicks off on September 29 with powerhouse singer Storm Large, best known for her work with the band Pink Martini. From there, our Live! Series will feature “America’s Got Talent” comedian Tape Face, rock n’ roll icon Darlene Love, Grammy-winning ensemble Chanticleer, veteran movie-riffers Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu, and a ton more. They will be joined by dozens of other talented performers, from celebrated favorites like Mandolin Orange to fresh faces like Alicia Olatuja.

We will once again host the Frederick Speaker Series, which is celebrating six seasons of bringing world-class leaders into the community. As previously announced, the lineup features Dr. Temple Grandin, Ted Koppel, Mitch Albom, and Rita Moreno. Word on the street is that tickets for these inspiring events will be the first to go… you’d better move quickly!

Our 2017-2018 Family Series will feature familiar and new characters alike in performances appropriate for all ages. Acrobats swing from the rafters, magicians make the impossible possible, and beloved TV characters jump to life on stage. Make it a family outing when you see Champions of Magic, Flip FabriQue: Catch Me!, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – LIVE!, Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas, and Catapult.

As part of our commitment to keeping the arts affordable, we’ll continue to showcase emerging artists in our pay-what-you-want Tivoli Discovery Series. The 2017-2018 lineup includes Bailen, The Commonheart, Cyrille Aimée, New Breed Brass Band, and Dead Horses. Take a chance and you just may discover your new favorite artist!

Honoring our roots as the former Tivoli movie palace, we’ll continue to present our beloved Silent Film Series, featuring live accompaniment on the mighty Wurlitzer organ. The series begins November 4 with a screening of 1925’s stop motion spectacle “The Lost World.” The popular Flying Dog Film Series returns September 27 with “Tombstone” and will feature films such as “The Princess Bride” and “Dirty Dancing.”

Tickets to all shows are available to Weinberg Center members as of Thursday, August 10. Tickets will become available to the general public on Thursday, August 17 at 10am. Not a member? Join today for as little as $50 (or $35 if you’re under the age of 35)!

So, make your list and mark your calendars! Just a few days until those coveted tickets can be yours. See you at the theater!

July 27 | Meet Your 2018 Speakers

We are pleased to announce the complete lineup for the 2018 Frederick Speaker Series! The celebrated series is entering its sixth year, and its willingness to bring poignant and thought-provoking speakers and their stories to Frederick shows no signs of slowing. From inspirational topics to sensational perspectives, you’ll find it all in the 2018 Frederick Speaker Series. Here’s who’s who this season:

Dr. Temple Grandin is living proof that an individual can thrive against tough odds. Dr. Grandin was diagnosed with autism at a young age and did not even speak until she was four, but her parents fought to keep her out of institutions and in school. Though adversities and challenges were prominent in her adolescence, Dr. Grandin eventually thrived, developing a love for animals. Now, having been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2011, she has revolutionized the livestock industry by designing cattle facilities and working with heavy-hitters such as McDonald’s on animal welfare guidelines. The author of numerous books and the subject of an award-winning HBO film, Dr. Temple Grandin is ready to bring her inspirational story to the citizens of Frederick.

Ted Koppel is best known as the editor and anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline” from 1980 to 2005. He continues to be one of the most trusted names in journalism and has won eight George Peabody Awards, 11 duPont-Columbia Awards (television’s equivalent of the Pulitzer), and 42 Emmys. With his trademark wisdom, wit, and warmth, Koppel takes the Weinberg stage to share his observations on the state of the U.S. and the world, providing unmatched analysis of the important foreign policy and political headlines of the day — and, of course, the people behind the scenes.

Mitch Albom is an internationally-renowned and bestselling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster, and musician. From “Tuesdays with Morrie” to “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” his books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide, have been published in 45 languages, and have been made into Emmy award-winning television movies. A mainstay in American sports journalism, Albom will take his bow in Frederick by weaving personal stories and anecdotes with a captivating message about the potential in all of us for a giving, meaningful life.

Rita Moreno is one of the busiest actresses, singers, and dancers in show business. With star-making turns in “West Side Story,” “The Ritz,” and “The Electric Company” under her belt, the entertainment icon belongs to an elite group of only eight living performers to have won all four of the industry’s most prestigious awards: the Emmy, GRAMMY®, Oscar, and Tony. A Kennedy Center honoree for lifetime contributions to American culture and a recipient of the coveted Presidential Medal of Freedom, Moreno represents the intersection of selfless service and professional achievement. Appearing in Frederick for the first time, the feisty entertainer brings a sense of humor and wealth of personal stories to the stage, exploring the value of diversity, the power of language, and getting older without getting old.


Tickets for the 2018 Frederick Speaker Series will go on sale with the remainder of the Weinberg Center season. Members can gain early access to tickets on August 10 before they’re available to the general public on August 17. (Not a member? Awesome benefits, including early ticket-buying privileges, can be yours for as little as $35!)

These four distinguished guests will join the likes of past speakers that include Dr. Michio Kaku, Cal Ripken Jr., General Colin Powell, Jane Fonda, Tom Brokaw, Bryan Stevenson, George Takei, Bill Nye, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Will you be there, too? See you at the theater!

Mitch Albom

Bestselling author, columnist, and radio host

Author, philanthropist, columnist, and sports reporter Mitch Albom is an inspiration around the world. His books have sold over 35 million copies and have been translated into over 40 languages. His breakthrough book, “Tuesdays with Morrie,” became an international phenomenon with over 14 million copies sold. Now in its twentieth year, “Tuesdays with Morrie” remains one of the top-selling memoirs of all time, and was adapted into an Emmy award-winning TV movie produced by Oprah Winfrey, starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria.

Albom has founded 10 charities, including nine in the Detroit area, including S.A.Y. Detroit, which operates a family health clinic; A Time to Help, a volunteer organization; and A Hole in the Roof Foundation, which repairs faith-based homeless shelters. He also directs the Have Faith Haiti Mission in Port Au Prince, which helps impoverished children and orphans.

A columnist for The Detroit Free Press since 1985 and a panelist on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters,” Albom has been named the #1 Sports Columnist in the Nation by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) 13 times. In June 2010 he received the APSE Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement, the biggest prize in sports journalism, and in June 2013, he was inducted into the Sportswriters Hall of Fame.

Albom hosts two radio shows on WJR-AM. He has appeared on “The Today Show” and “Charlie Rose,” and his articles have been featured in The New York Times, GQ, and Sports Illustrated. Currently, he is developing an hour-long TV show for TNT.

Albom’s books “The First Phone Call from Heaven” and “Have A Little Faith” were both #1 New York Times bestsellers. His beloved book “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list and sold nearly five million copies in its first year; Albom also wrote the screenplay for the ABC TV movie starring Jon Voight and Ellen Burstyn.

His latest book, “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto,” debuted at #4 on The New York Times bestseller list. In 2017, Albom announced that the sequel to “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” is near completion, and that his next work will be about the children of the Have Faith Haiti Mission.

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You may also like: Dr. Temple GrandinTed KoppelRita Moreno, and Mark Ruffalo

Rita Moreno

Award-winning singer, dancer, and actress

At just 82 years young, Rita Moreno remains one of the busiest stars in show business. In January 2014, Moreno received the Screen Actors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Her first book, “Rita Moreno: A Memoir,” instantly became a New York Times Bestseller. In 2011, she premiered her one-woman show, “Life Without Make-Up,” an original play about her life and appeared regularly as Fran Drescher’s mother in the TVLand series “Happily Divorced.” She has recently begun production on the Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom “One Day at a Time,” for Netflix. This creative diversity has been the hallmark of Moreno’s nearly 70-year career.

She belongs to an elite group of only eight living performers who have won entertainment’s grand slam of the industry’s most prestigious awards: an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy. Her Oscar win came in 1962 as spitfire Anita in the film version of “West Side Story,” for which she also won a Golden Globe. Her Tony win was for her 1975 comedic triumph as Googie Gomez in Broadway’s “The Ritz.” Moreno was awarded a Grammy for her 1972 performance on “The Electric Company Album,” based on the long-running children’s television series. She has won not one, but two Emmys: the first for a 1977 variety appearance on “The Muppet Show” and the following year for a dramatic turn on “The Rockford Files.”

Over the decades, she has collected dozens of other show business awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995. A favorite of Chicago audiences and critics, Moreno received the city’s coveted Joseph Jefferson Award in 1968 as Serafina in “The Rose Tattoo” and in 1985 was awarded the prestigious Sara Siddons Award for her hilarious portrayal of Olive Madison in the female version of “The Odd Couple.”

Moreno was born Rosa Dolores Alverio in Humacao, a small town near the Puerto Rican rain forest. At age 5, she moved with her mother to New York where she soon began dance lessons. She made her Broadway debut at just 13 in “Skydrift,” starring Eli Wallach. Then, in true Hollywood tradition, a talent scout spotted her and arranged for the teen to meet MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, who signed her to a film contract.

Her Hollywood career advanced steadily, including early films with stars such as Richard Widmark, Esther Williams, Mario Lanza, Susan Hayward, Tyrone Power and Gary Cooper. She appeared in “Singin’ in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly and was featured as Tuptim in the classic “The King and I” with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. Although early roles sometimes found her typecast as a Mexican spitfire or Indian maiden, she also broke the Latina mold playing an Irish teacher, an Italian widow, a female evangelist, a proper Englishwoman and a Southern belle. After her Academy Award for “West Side Story,” Moreno was acknowledged as a major big-screen talent.

Other significant film appearances include: “The Night of the Following Day” with Marlon Brando in 1967, with James Garner in “Marlowe,” as Alan Arkin’s girlfriend in “Popi,” and in Mike Nichol’s production of “Carnal Knowledge.” She reprised the role of Googie Gomez in the film version of “The Ritz,” followed by Alan Alda’s “The Four Seasons,” Columbia Pictures’ acclaimed “I Like it Like That” and “Angus” with George C. Scott.

Her long stage career has included starring roles on both sides of the Atlantic. In London, she appeared in Hal Prince’s 1962 production of “She Loves Me” and in the 1997 West End run of “Sunset Boulevard.” In New York, she has starred in Lorraine Hansbury’s “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,” opposite Robert Shaw in “Gantry,” and with Jimmy Coco in “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers.” She received a Tony Award nomination for her role in “The National Health” in 1974.

Moreno has guest starred on a wide variety of television productions in the U.S. and abroad. She is proud to have been a featured artist for many years on “The Electric Company,” the highly regarded educational show for children. She starred in her own TV series based on the film 9” to 5.” In 2007, she starred in the CBS series “Cane” and most recently she was one of the leads in the highly acclaimed HBO series “OZ.” Moreno’s latest endeavor has been in cabaret. where she has met with great critical success.

She is involved with a number of civic and charitable organizations and events. Moreno has served on the National Endowment for the Arts and as a Commissioner for the President’s White House Fellowships. She has also served as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. At a White House ceremony in June 2004, Moreno was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. The medal is the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian and ranks only second to the Congressional Medal of Honor as the nation’s highest award. It is conferred on individuals for a lifetime of meritorious service. In 2007, Moreno was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2010, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama as well as the Here I Stand Award for activism in the arts and the HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award. In December 2016, she received a Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture.

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ASL-interpreted performance

You may also like: Dr. Temple Grandin, Ted KoppelMitch Albom, and Mark Ruffalo

Dr. Temple Grandin

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Accomplished Autistic Author and Leading Animal Welfare Expert

Dr. Temple Grandin was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Grandin’s achievements are remarkable because she was an autistic child. At age two she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive teaching enabled Grandin to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard, but mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Grandin to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974 she was employed as Livestock Editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975 she earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Grandin was awarded her Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989.

She has done extensive work on the design of handling facilities. Half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants. Other professional activities include developing animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consulting with McDonalds, Wendy’s International, Burger King, and other companies on animal welfare.

Following her Ph.D. research on the effect of environmental enrichment on the behavior of pigs, she has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters, and technical papers on animal handling, plus 63 refereed journal articles and ten books. She is a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, where she continues her research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design. Her book “Animals in Translation” was a New York Times bestseller and her book “Livestock Handling and Transport” now has a third edition, which was published in 2007. Other popular books authored by Grandin include “Thinking in Pictures,” “Emergence Labeled Autistic,” “Animals Make us Human,” “Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach,” and “The Way I See It.”

Grandin has received numerous awards, including the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute. She was named a Distinguished Alumni at Franklin Pierce College and received honorary doctorates from McGill University, University of Illinois, and Duke University. She has also won prestigious industry awards including the Richard L. Knowlton Award from Meat Marketing and Technology Magazine, the Industry Advancement Award from the American Meat Institute and the Beef Top 40 industry leaders, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Grandin is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America. She lectures to parents and teachers throughout the U.S. on her experiences with autism. Articles and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, People, Time, National Public Radio, 20/20, The View, and the BBC. She was also honored in TIME Magazine’s 2010 “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” In 2011, Grandin was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. In 2012, Grandin was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. HBO has recently premiered a movie about Grandin’s early life and career in the livestock industry. The movie received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award.

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ASL-interpreted performance

You may also like: Ted Koppel, Mitch AlbomRita Moreno, and Mark Ruffalo

Photo by Rosalie Winard.

Ted Koppel

Legendary Anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline”

During more than 50 years that he has worked as a professional journalist, Ted Koppel has embodied the term “eyewitness to history.” He covered John F. Kennedy’s funeral in 1963, Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Koppel also covered a succession of ten conflicts as an ABC News war correspondent, beginning with Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia in 1967, 1969, 1970 and 1971 and finally as an embedded correspondent with the 3rd armored infantry division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He covered Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1968 and historic visit to the People’s Republic of China in 1972, and Henry Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East in 1973 and 1974. Koppel was with Mikhail Ghorbachev inside the Kremlin on the last day of the Soviet Union and was the first journalist to interview Nelson Mandela at his home in Suweto, South Africa upon his release from 27 years in prison.

Over the course of 26 years as anchor and managing editor of “Nightline,” Koppel became the longest serving news anchor in U.S. broadcast history. After leaving ABC in 2005, Koppel and his colleagues produced 20 hours of documentaries for the Discovery Network, where he served as managing editor. Since then, he has worked as a contributing analyst for BBC America and a special correspondent for the NBC News magazine program, “Rock Center.”

In 2012, New York University named Koppel one of the “100 outstanding journalists in the United States in the last 100 years. When he left ABC News after 42 years, he was the most honored reporter in that network’s history, having received more Overseas Press Club awards than the previous record holder, Edward R. Murrow, and eight George Foster Peabody awards. Television’s equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize is the Columbia-DuPont award; Koppel has won 12. He has also been awarded 42 Emmys, including one for lifetime achievement.

Koppel’s most recent book “Lights Out,” a 2015 New York Times bestseller, examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways for America to prepare for a cyber-catastrophe. Koppel serves as commentator and non-fiction book reviewer for the National Public Radio. He is also a contributing columnist to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. As of February 2016, Koppel has undertaken a new assignment for CBS News as Senior Contributor to “The CBS Sunday Morning Show.”

ASL Sign Language2

ASL-interpreted performance

You may also like: Dr. Temple Grandin, Mitch Albom, Rita Moreno, and Mark Ruffalo