Walt | The ArtsCenter | Performances | Indy Week
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Walt: The Life and Times of Walt Whitman opens Friday at The ArtsCenter.

Walt: The Life and Times of Walt Whitman opens Friday at The ArtsCenter.

When: May 10-19 2013
Price: $10-18

His work is called transcendental for a reason. Throughout the various editions of Leaves of Grass and his lesser-known prose work, 19th-century poet Walt Whitman embraces and lifts his neighbors, his country and his planet—seeking communion, ultimately, with all. His early invitations are unfettered in their exuberance and sensuality ("Stop this day and night with me, and you shall possess the origin of all poems," he bids), but they are leavened as he takes the measure of prisoners and wounded soldiers he encounters as a Civil War battlefield nurse. Whitman's distant cousin, William, developed this music theater work in the mid-1980s with then-student composer Jonathan Price at the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. It follows the poet in dialogue and music, adapting some poems into song. Jeri Lynn Schulke directs a cast including Mark Filiaci, Mary Forester and Hazel Edmond in this regional premiere. Glenn Mehrbach is at the keyboard. —Byron Woods

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