A Night with John Waters ’58: Baltimore Icon Will Revisit School Days in Virtual Talk

Filmmaker, artist, and Baltimore icon John Waters ’58 has created many of the most controversial and influential films in American history. From Pink Flamingos to Hairspray, Waters' films have garnered both scathing reviews and mainstream acclaim, helping to shape the modern cultural landscape – but long before he picked up a camera, he learned to read and write on Tuscany Road.
“I wish I quit school in Sixth Grade because the only things I ever learned I learned in Calvert School,” Waters shared for Reflections 2010. “I learned how to write. I learned how to give shows, and I learned public speaking. You go to school to figure out what you want to be – I knew.”
A Baltimore native, Waters grew up in nearby Lutherville and attended Calvert School from 1952 to 1958. Back then, he would dream up stories during gym class and tell his mom about a “really weird” little boy, later revealed to be himself, who only drew in black crayon. He remembers acting in twice-yearly school performances and shaking hands at the door every morning.
On top of it all, he remembers lots and lots of writing.
“I had to learn to read and write,” Waters said. “So, the two things that to this day I make my living from, I did learn at Calvert School.”
More than 60 years later, John Waters’ name is synonymous with controversial cinema, with many of his early films pushing the boundaries of “bad taste” and propriety. His biggest hit, 1988’s Hairspray, has been adapted twice – first as a Tony Award-winning Broadway production and later as a film based on the musical – while many his other movies continue to enjoy cult film status.
Best known for his contributions to film, Waters is also a provocative author and visual artist. He has had exhibitions of his photography and sculpture shown all over the world, including a stint at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where he recently donated an extensive 375-piece art collection.
As an author, he has written nine books, including his newest release, Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder.
Now, Waters turns his creative mind back toward the Calvert community, joining Calvert staffer Sarah Caldwell for an intimate virtual discussion on Thursday, January 28.
During this exciting virtual event, A Night with John Waters ’58, he will discuss his colorful career path, his early days at Calvert, and answer questions submitted by members of our community.
Like A Night on the Town, all ticket and raffle purchases from A Night with John Waters ’58 will directly benefit Calvert’s incredible faculty program, providing teachers and administrators with the resources they need to enhance students’ learning – and friends, parents, and alumni are invited to attend.
While VIP Experience tickets have already sold out, a limited number of General Admission tickets are still available, and each purchase includes the opportunity to submit a question that may be asked during the talk.
Attendees are also invited to enter for the chance to win exciting raffle prizes, including signed copies of Waters’ books, dinner and wine pairings for six at Tagliata, and two jaw-dropping collector sets.
Calvert families can also enter to win one of three unique opportunities for their student:
  1. Lower School Lunch Party with Mrs. Martin
  2. Buck as Butler for The Day
  3. Head Master for A Day
Raffle tickets are available for $20 per ticket, and a free sixth ticket is automatically included in all purchases of five. Click here to view even more exciting raffles!
We hope you will join us Thursday, January 28, at 6:00 P.M. for A Night with John Waters ’58. Click here to claim your tickets for this exciting virtual experience – and act fast! A limited number of General Admission tickets are available.
*A Night with John Waters '58 and associated raffles may contain adult language and themes. Registrant discretion is advised.

Calvert School is a coed independent lower and middle school.