Dr. Kate Benzel,
“The Sandburg Project Encore: Carl Sandburg’s Poetry and Songs” will take the stage at the Merryman Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11.
The performance will replicate Carl Sandburg’s style of lecture-recital, according to Dr. Kathryn Benzel, show producer and a University of Nebraska at Kearney English faculty member.
“Using Sandburg’s poetry and proverbs from the Great Plains and American folk songs from his compilation ‘The American Songbag,’ the performance creates a unique dialogue between words and music,” Dr. Benzel said. “Together, the performers and musicians enact the American ‘song and slogan’ just like Sandburg performed in opera houses and auditoriums across the United States.” Dr. Benzel will give a pre-performance lecture about Carl Sandburg at 6:30 p.m.
Performers for the evening will include Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress from 2004-2006; Dr. Charles Peek, a UNK English professor who has an international reputation as a scholar of both William Faulkner and Willa Cather, and American modernism; and Mike Adams and “The Sandstones,” featuring Cristina Seaborn, Terry Sinnard and Mike Metzger. Adams is a singer and songwriter whose Americana style of music combines folk and country with jazz and blues in a dynamic acoustic sound. He created the musical arrangements for the presentation. Seaborn, who is from St. Cloud, Minn., is a violinist and fiddler with more than 30 years of experience. Sinnard and Metzger are both from Kearney. Sinnard plays bass guitar; Metzger, the banjo, mandolin and guitar.
Admission is $15 per person; tickets are available now through Friday, April 11, from the Merryman Performing Arts Center by calling 308.698.8052.
The performance will be filmed by Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) for an hour-long program to be aired next fall. UNK is supporting this filming.
“We expect that 80 percent of the hour-long program will be from the Friday night performance,” Dr. Benzel said. The remainder will be comprised of interviews and background on Sandburg.
In addition, the production has gained the attention of North Carolina filmmaker Paul Bonesteel, who is working on a documentary he has titled “The Day Carl Sandburg Died.” Bonesteel will also be filming the production.
“The performance not only recovers Sandburg’s importance as Poet of the People, its poetry and music also generate the pride, encourage responsibility and celebrate the diversity at the center of his democratic value system,” Dr. Benzel added.
Performance-related activities have been expanded to include poetry and songwriting workshops. Two poetry workshops, Poetry for the People and Literary Landscapes, and one lyric writing workshop, Word melodies, will be held Thursday, April 10, at the Frank House on the UNK West campus. The workshops culminate in the encore performance Friday.
The performance is funded by the Nebraska Humanities Council, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the Nebraska Arts Council.
The Sandtones will also play after the Sandburg performance at Elements in downtown Kearney on Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12. There will be a cover charge.