Hopewell Theatre and Lit Youngstown present "I Sing the Body Electric: Whitman’s America in Words and Song," Sunday, March 20 at 3:00 at Hopewell Theatre.
Excerpts of poetry from Whitman’s iconic collection Leaves of Grass and thoughts from letters and journals will be performed by Tim Francisco, Carla Gipson, James Hain, Adrianna Lamonge, Niki Latsko, Frank G. Martin, Martin Moore, Nick Mulichak, Jeanine Rees, Charles Rumberg, and Brenda Zyvith.
Whitman, born in 1819, was critically important in shaping American literature, and his themes and ideas strike a chord in our times. “Walt Whitman’s poetry celebrates nature, friendship, America, and the wonder of human beings,” said Hopewell Theatre Director Regina Rees. “It is as meaningful today as it was when he wrote it.”
The readings will alternate with American and European music of the mid-19th century, performed by Youngstown Sheet & Tube Quartet, Susan Sexton and John Veneskey on trumpet and Jonathan Willis and Matt Stemple on trombone.
“We are thrilled to have been asked to join this creative project,” Sexton said. “We’re excited to provide the audience with glimpses into the music of Whitman’s time, reflecting not only his cultural tastes, but some of the attitudes of the larger society as well. Plus, we’re really psyched to perform part of a larger brass work by Danish composer Wilhelm Ramsoe. It’s a true concert piece, very rewarding for brass players, and we have few opportunities to work on it.”
Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased at www.hopewelltheatre.org.