Lights, camera, action…


On a rainy weekend in April, the Chandler Room at the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House was transformed into a movie set. With its pine paneling and open hearth, it became the Charlestown home of John Harvard and his wife, Ann, for a reenactment of the final hours of Harvard’s life on September 14, 1638.

The film, John Harvard, was written and produced by Harvard Extension graduate student Michael Van Devere with a cast of Harvard undergraduates and a technical crew. It recounts Harvard’s deathbed decision to bequeath his library of 400 books and half his estate to the small college founded just two years earlier in what was then called Newtowne.

Writer and director Michael Van Devere, left foreground, readies the film crew for a scene at John Harvard’s deathbed with Elina Kanellopoulous playing Harvard’s wife, Ann.