O Captain, My Captain: Whitman's Lincoln Premieres at Philly's Walnut Street Jan. 20

News   O Captain, My Captain: Whitman's Lincoln Premieres at Philly's Walnut Street Jan. 20 Writer-actor Bill Van Horn plays poet Walt Whitman in the world premiere of his one-man play, O Captain, My Captain: Whitman's Lincoln, at Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3 in Philadelphia, beginning Jan. 20.
Bill Van Horn as Walt Whitman.
Bill Van Horn as Walt Whitman. Photo by Sara Allen

The play, directed by Barrymore Award winner Bruce Lumpkin, is "the story of two great men with one grand vision for America."

Opening is Jan. 22, and performances continue through Feb. 8.

According to WST, O Captain, My Captain: Whitman's Lincoln "takes us to the Camden, New Jersey home of one of America's most influential and original voices, Walt Whitman. Often called the father of free verse, Walt Whitman was much like his writing: bold, enigmatic, and always captivating. It is the spring of 1887, and Whitman is preparing to tour the country with a solo performance of his works based on the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Whitman has gathered a group of his closest friends and associates (the audience) in the parlor of his home for a final 'dress rehearsal' prior to his first public performance in New York City. What follows is the tragic, yet ultimately triumphant, story of Lincoln's legacy as told through the words of Whitman himself."

The bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln is 2009.

Author and performer Bill Van Horn has spent the last year "writing, researching, and fine-tuning this effort of bringing Walt Whitman to life on stage." Van Horn has appeared at the Walnut in Man of La Mancha and Carousel, Studio 3's The Dishwashers and The Fantasticks (among others). He's a resident of South Philadelphia, and spends his summers with the Theatre at Monmouth in Maine.

Lumpkin has directed numerous hit WST Mainstage productions, including last season's Man of La Mancha, Cabaret, Evita, Grand Hotel, La Vie En Bleu, Godspell and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, among others. He staged the Studio 3 crowd-pleaser Flight: A Musical Journey with David Jackson in 2005.

The all-Philadelphia design team includes set designer Glen Sears, costume designer Mary Folino, lighting designer Mark Grady and sound designer Mark Valenzuela.

Walnut Street Theatre, Independence Studio on 3, is located at 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Tickets are $30 and are available by calling (215) 574-3550 or (212) 982-2787. Tickets are also available by visiting WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.