At the small yet prestigious Adams College in small town Pennsylvania there is a group of young professors that make the School of Humanities the most popular on campus.
Riley Matthews attended Adams College, her parents’ alma mater before moving to New York to try and make it in the theatre world. After her 27th birthday, with one off-broadway play and a few hundred auditions under her belt, she moved back and took a job in her old department. Now, five years later she is on track for tenure and takes her job very seriously, doing her best to teach her students even though most of the time she feels like a failure and a fraud. The department chair is one of her old professors, a grumpy old man close to retirement who still treats her like a student and takes every opportunity to drop department issues into her lap. When she quite literally runs into the new English professor at the school’s start-of-the-year event everything changes.
Maya Hart moved back to Pennsylvania with her lifelong best friend and got a job with the college after a few years of barely leaving her studio. Last year she didn’t take teaching very seriously, but slowly she has come to love her students and wants to do for them what her professors did for her even if that means dealing with departmental politics. Something she is serious about though is the decades long feud between the studio and performing arts. Riley may be her best friend but that won’t protect her from the epic pranks she and her students have planned.
Farkle Minkus spent his whole life being trained to join his father at the family company. His family was surprised when he decided to abandon that plan and study science. They were even more shocked when he changed his major after a single Philosophy seminar during his sophomore year. After earning his PhD he knew he wanted to continue in academia to try to understand all the mysteries of the universe and accepted a position at Adams. He is waiting to find out if he is going to offered tenure for next year, and at 33 he would be the youngest professor in the school’s history to receive the honor. Finding his way to Adams also meant reconnecting with his old family friend Riley Matthews who makes sure he has a social life.
Isadora Smackle is a literal rocket scientist. A full time employee at NASA she also travels the country as a guest lecturer. Adams College is a favorite due in no small part to the presence of Farkle Minkus, her former nemesis in college whom she’s never quite forgiven for abandoning their shared love of science in favor of philosophy. Graduating high school at 15 she didn’t have many friends when she got to Princeton. Farkle, although he was a year ahead and four years older, was nice to her and challenged her. After a few months of friendly rivalry though he switched majors and stopped talking to her. He is never anything but kind to her on her twice annual visits to Adams, but her pride won’t allow her to give him a second chance.
Zay Babineaux came to Adams looking for a new path after a knee injury ended his dancing dreams. Sometimes he really feels like a cliche. He started the same year as Riley and at first the two could barely tolerate each other. After being forced by their department heads to direct and choreograph Pirates of Penzance together they developed a solid working relationship and eventual friendship. He still teases her daily that musicals are the best theatre and dancing the best form of performance art. He’s surprised when Riley introduces them to the new English professor, seeing his childhood best friend for the first time in years.
Lucas Friar never saw himself being where he is today. After flunking out of veterinary school, unable to handle the pressure, he fell back on his second love. Everybody loves a good story. He quickly becomes known as the cool teacher™ much to Maya Hart’s annoyance. He’s always had a problem with his temper but he’s come a long way with it. Zay remembers him as an angry teenager though and it takes longer than he’d like to convince him that he’s changed. At the school’s start-of-the-year event he runs into a pretty brunette who incorporates him into her world and changes everything.
This is an interesting group of ‘behind the scenes’ items: Original library cards from the Disney Studio library featuring signatures from many of the legendary Disney animators.
Among the names included are Ken Anderson, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Marc Davis, Eric Larson, Ward Kimball, John Lounsbery, Roy Disney, Ben Sharpsteen, Dick Huemer, James Algar, Iwao Takamoto, Sam McKim, Roy Williams, Dick Kinney, Bill Justice, Bob Moore, Art Riley, Eyvind Earle, Harry Tytla, Ralph Hulett, Marty Skylar, and many more.
walt whitman * trampled by turtles
run chicken run * the felice brothers
down home girl * old crow medicine show
seen it all * jake bugg
feel alright * steve earle
coney island * the alex mallet band
might river * railroad earth
don’t get trouble win your mind * carolina chocolate drops
five interstates * green sky bluegrass
tell my mother why i miss her so * ryan bingham
whiskey bottle * david luning
fur coat blues * jamestown revival
the mtn song * ray land baxter
little bit of love * jon and roy
fools gold by * the damn quails
the swimming song * loudon wainwright II
harlem river blues * justin townes earle
passin’ through * riley downing, sam doors, & the tumbleweeds
real love * railroad earth
i take your hand * the wedding band (mumford and sons)
laundry room * the avett brothers
hard livin’ * railroad earth
hooky junk * the gourds
james river blue * old crow medicine show
how ‘bout you * yonder mountain string band
raise a ruckus * old crow medicine show
julie’s train * balsam range
michigan * the milk carton kids
dixie * huckleberry flint
spanish pipedream * the avett brothers
victory * trampled by turtles