Saturday, November 3rd @ 7:30 p.m.
Patrick Scully as Walt Whitman
Solo Theater Performance

On Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center in New York Mills, Patrick Scully will perform as Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass–Illuminated. 

This solo performance is free to attend, and is recommended for high school age and above.

“Doubtless I could not have perceived the universe, or written one of my poems,
If I had not freely given myself to comrades, to love.” Excerpt from Leaves of Grass

This solo performance is about history, art, and literature – presenting aspects of Walt Whitman’s life and work that are fascinating for our time. We celebrate Whitman as an important artist for our era; a poet who loved America, and used his writing to strategically transform what he believed needed to be changed.

Leaves of Grass – Illuminated begins an important conversation about celebrating male companionship. Whitman crafted clear strategies to deal with the social pressures and the consequences he faced for writing about taboo topics. This is a side of Whitman that few of us learned about in our American Literature classes. Some of these taboos have disappeared, others are still very relevant – such as relationships between men, and the forces that seek to deny them. The show reveals how Whitman seemed to be able to look into the future, foreseeing that same-sex relations would move out of the shadows into the light of day.

There will be time for questions with creator and actor Patrick Scully after the performance.

This production is the result of over 10 years of research and development. Scully has his roots in choreography and has read over 55 books by and about Whitman. A large cast version of this show opened in Minneapolis to critical acclaim in 2014:

“Scully creates an onstage world that Whitman would have appreciated… Without this daring poet’s soaring words and his willingness to take risks in a hostile era, we may never know what it means to ‘sing the body electric.’ Scully is the perfect caretaker for Whitman’s legacy.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Scully then developed the original version into a one-man show during a residency at MANCC at Florida State University in 2015, and premiered the solo Leaves of Grass – Illuminated in New York City and Minneapolis in 2016.

In 2017/18, Scully toured the show to 24 communities in Minnesota, with support from the Minnesota State Arts Board Legacy Funds. In 2018/19, again with MSAB touring support, he is touring it to another 24 communities, including New York Mills. The performance will also be presented in July 2019 at the historic Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

“Patrick Scully was born to play Walt Whitman… For a decade Scully has been gestating Whitman’s poetry and life and has now crafted a luminous performance art piece… the piece’s genius is Scully’s illumination of Whitman texts and his life … It is a truly great American work of theatrical art.” (Lavender)

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

This performance will be preceded by a Gallery Reception for the Cultural Center’s new exhibit, Jeremy Lundquist Printmaking and Installation Art Show, which opens in the Gallery on October 31. The Reception will be held on Saturday, November 3rd from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., and is free to attend and open to all.

Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available for both the Gallery Reception and the Leaves of Grass – Illuminated theater performance.

Both events are free to attend, with freewill donations always welcome to support the continued work of the Cultural Center. Contact us at 218-385-3339 with any questions.