BAM Will Offer Pulitzer Prize Winner Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer

News   BAM Will Offer Pulitzer Prize Winner Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer
 
The Brooklyn Academy of Music will stage SITI Company's acclaimed production of Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer next month. Helmed by Anne Bogart, the show is a musical retelling of the legend of African-American folk hero John Henry.

Performances will run Dec. 2-6 in the BAM Harvey Theatre as part of the Next Wave festival.

The cast includes Akiko Aizawa, Eric Berryman, Patrice Johnson Chevannes, Gian-Murray Gianino, Barney O’Hanlon and Stephen Duff Webber.

In addition to performances by SITI company members, Steel Hammer features music by ensemble group Bang On A Can All-Stars and singers Emily Eagen, Katie Geissinger and Molly Quinn. The show is a dramatic adaptation of Wolfe's art ballad, a composition which blends elements of minimalism, Appalachian folk music and rock. Her music is combined with original text by American playwrights Kia Corthron, Will Power, Carl Hancock Rux and Regina Taylor.

"Steel Hammer is nothing less than a meeting of hearts, minds and bodies," said Bogart in a press statement. "Julia Wolfe’s extraordinary music composition, the brilliance of the Bang on a Can All Stars, the fluency of four remarkable playwrights and the shared sensibilities of SITI Company’s actors and designers."

Steel Hammer premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the 2014 Humana Festival of New American Plays. Its subsequent tour of the U.S. will conclude in New York City with the BAM engagement. "Steel Hammer was really inspired by my love for the legends and music of Appalachia,” added Wolfe in press notes. "It's a return to my musical roots in folk music, and when I wrote the piece, I looked to the breadth of musicianship in the Bang on a Can All-Stars. I was also moved by the myriad of songsters, some known, some not-so-known, who filled my ears with their own personal versions of the John Henry ballad."

The production features scenic and costume design by James Schuette, lighting by Brian Scott, sound design by Andrew Cotton and Christian Frederickson and choreography by Barney O’Hanlon.

To purchase tickets visit BAM.org.

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