Compagnia De' Colombari Presents MORE OR LESS I AM In Celebration Of Walt Whitman's 200th Birthday
Compagnia de' Colombari, an international collective of performing artists founded and directed by Karin Coonrod, presents More Or Less I Am, a music-theater piece drawn entirely from Walt Whitman's revolutionary free verse long poem, "Song of Myself,"one of the original twelve pieces that comprise his 1855 collection Leaves of Grass. The first performance in this series, spanning multiple venues throughout the five boroughs, will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 2:30pm at Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn. The event is free and open to the public.
Conceived and directed by Karin Coonrod with original music by Colin Jacobsen, Kyle Sanna, Eric Jacobsen, and Alex Sopp, the piece involves fifteen performers of various ages, genders, and ethnicities (six instrumentalists and eight actor/singers, one child). More Or Less I Am includes passages spoken and sung in Spanish, among many other languages. Members of the audience will also be involved, as will local poets who have been asked to speak back to Walt in their own words. Featuring performers from the best of the theater, classical music, and jazz worlds, the piece lasts one hour.
"More Or Less I Am speaks-sings aloud and embodies the voice of Walt Whitman: to experience our individual greatness and our great commonality," said director Karin Coonrod. "Whitman takes the vision of America to a new level: a place we are still reaching for today. More Or Less I Am vitalizes Whitman's call to us, then and now, a declaration of interdependence, an awakening of the American consciousness."
More or Less I Am is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Production design support is provided by the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York (A.R.T/New York). Additional support is provided by the Malka Fund.
Compagnia de' Colombari wishes to thank the following project partners for their support: Charles Jarden and the Ft. Greene Park Conservancy; Cynthia Shor and the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association; Karen Karbiener and the Walt Whitman Initiative; Greg Trupiano and The Walt Whitman Project; Dan Fishman and the Bryant Park Corporation; Nicholas Higgins and Meredith Walters, the Brooklyn Public Library; Rosie Clarke and Sarah Morrow, Housing Works; and Tommy Demenkoff, New York City Department of Correction.
Director: Karin Coonrod
Composers: Colin Jacobsen, Kyle Sanna, Eric Jacobsen, Alex Sopp
Sound Designer: Ken Goodwin
Lighting Designer: Sol Weisbard
Musicians: Kyle Sanna (guitar), Grant Gordy (guitar), Jason "Peanuts" Isaac (steel drum), Skye Steele (violin), Andrew Rehrig (flute), Jake Charkey (cello)
Confirmed Local Poets: Alicia Ostriker, Carl Hancock Rux