2012 – 2013 WordStage Season

My Dear Boy

Gay Love Letters Through The Centuries

Presented at Cleveland Public Theater’s James Levin Theater as part of CPT’s Big Box Series.

My Dear Boy - Gay Love Letters Through the CenturiesDeveloped from love letters written by prominent men throughout history from Marcus Aurelius to Allen Ginsberg, My Dear Boy expresses universal themes of human emotion and amorous relationships. The letters are a treasure trove of literary styles written with incredible emotional resonance; by turns heartfelt, hilarious, sexy, angry, intoxicating and above all, written with love.

Underscoring and enhancing these texts will be music of notable gay composers throughout history as well as the introduction of elements of movement and visual projections.

My Dear Boy is performed on a Double Bill with Amy Compton’s solo, multi-disciplinary meditation about the aspects of love: THE DREAMER.

Cleveland Public Theater is located at: 6415 Detroit Road • Cleveland, Ohio

The Life And Works Of Hart Crane

From Garretsville to Brooklyn and Beyond

Lakewood Public Library – National Poetry Month Celebration – April, 2012

Hart CraneThe life of Hart Crane was tragically short, but his impact on the world of poetry was large and the list of those he has influenced is long. Tim Tavcar, the artistic director of WordStage invites you to contemplate the legacy of this buckeye-born literary giant through poems, letters and the music of his time.

Inspired by the epic achievement of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, yet also repulsed by its ironic despair, Crane challenged himself to articulate, “a mystic synthesis of America” that celebrated the possibility of life. Sometimes disturbing and often transporting, his body of verse emphasizes the strange beauty and innate spirituality of the modern world as he saw it at the dawn of the 20th century.

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Facts In The Case of M. Valedmar

ANOTHER EDGAR ALLAN POE SPOOKTACULAR!

Another Poe Spooktakular!Experience the spine-tingling sensations of the Halloween Season as you attend to a truly terrifying tale from the pen of “The Master of the Macabre”, Edgar Allan Poe ~ “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” ~ an eerie essay on malevolent medicine, Machiavellian manipulation, deathbed disintegration and fantastic visions of the afterlife.

WordStage’s annual offering from the fevered imagination of America’s creator of “Tales and Poems of Mystery and Imagination” will be read by Marci Paolucci and Tim Tavcar and horrifically heightened by atmospheric music performed by the Javier Piano Trio – Ariel Clayton, violin, Carlos Javier, cello and HyunSoo Kim, piano – all artists of the Cleveland Classical Revolution – performing the music of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich.

Frederic & George

L’Affaire Chopin / Sand

Frederic & George – L'Affaire Chopin/SandAt the time when he came into George Sand’s life, Chopin, the composer and virtuoso, was the favorite of Parisian salons, the pianist in vogue. He was born in 1810, so that he was then twenty-seven years of age. His success was due to his merits as an artist, and nowhere is an artist’s success as great as in Paris. Chopin’s delicate style was admirably suited to the dimensions and to the atmosphere of a salon. People said he was like his own music; the dreamy, melancholy themes seemed to accord so well with the pale young face of the composer. The fascination of the languor which seemed to emanate from the man and from his work worked its way, in a subtle manner, into the hearts of his hearers. One of these was the controversial, cross-dressing, Aurore Dupin Dudevant, better known under her non de plume, George Sand. It was their mutual friend, the composer, pianist and ultimate showman, Franz Liszt who introduced them.

Chopin, by all accounts an extremely sensitive artist, dreaded meeting “this woman above all women, as, like a priestess of Delphi, she said so many things that the others could not have said. Undaunted, she made the first advances. It is easy to see what charmed her in him. In the first place, he appealed to her as he did to all women, and then, too, there was the absolute contrast of their two opposite natures. She was all force, of an expansive, exuberant nature. He was very discreet, reserved and mysterious. Such a contrast may prove a strong attraction, and then, too, George Sand was very sensitive to the charm of music. But what she saw above all in Chopin was the typical artist, just as she understood the artist, a dreamer, lost in the clouds, incapable of any activity that was practical, a “lover of the impossible.” And then, too, he was ill. When her former lover, the author and poet Alfred de Musset left Venice, after all the atrocious nights she had spent at his bedside, she wrote: “Whom shall I have now to look after and tend?” In Chopin she found that someone. But at a dreadful cost to both their physical and emotional health.

Walt Whitman – I Sing The Body Electric

A Second Commission for the Lakewood Public Library In Celebration of National Poetry Month, April, 2013

Walt Whitman - I Sing The Body ElectricIn 1855, a poetry collection appeared by an unknown 36-year-old poet, until then known primarily as a printer, teacher, and journalist. The twelve poems contained within were some of the most daring, musical, poignant, and joyful poems to have been published in the United States. They were written in a distinctly American voice and were about American men and women. Their author, Walt Whitman, wanted nothing less than to unite a fraying nation under the banner of his poetic voice.

Whitman spent the rest of his life working on Leaves of Grass, revising, expanding, and deleting its poems up until the final edition issued two months before his death in 1892. The poems and their poet were both hailed as genius and denounced as the most obscene filth. One hundred and fifty years after Leaves of Grass first appeared, we have at last come to understand their author as a gifted translator of the American consciousness. We also know that he was a master of self-promotion, an American patriot, a fiercely independent person, and a tireless observer of human nature. “Whatever you do, do not prettify me,” Whitman told one biographer. “Include all the hells and damns.” For a poet who spared nothing in his verse, it makes sense that his life story should be told honestly as well. The WordStage presentation will use material from Whitman’s own letters, diaries, and poetical works – as well as material from his contemporary chroniclers and critics. The Music will be drawn from the Civil war Era, and some songs set to the texts of his poetry.

Father’s Day Music At The Library

A Celebration Of Rogers and Hammerstein

A Celebration of Rogers and HammersteinJoin WordStage artists baritone Mark Wanich, pianist Matt Skitski and narrator Tim Tavcar in a tribute to fathers and fatherhood through the songs and writings of America’s most renowned composer and lyricist team at the Beachwood Library.

Featuring beloved familiar tunes and lesser known gems, this is an afternoon of uplifting entertainment you won’t want to miss. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, free tickets are required for admission and are available a the branch or by calling 216-831-6868