KEARNEY
Groups

Prayers For The People

This series of interdisciplinary performances combines Carl Sandburg's poetry and folk songs from his compilation, The American Songbag. The 2008 Performance with Ted Kooser received a 2010 Heartland Emmy for Nebraska Educational Television film.


"The long sand is gone - and all the talk is stars. - They circle in a dome over Nebraska." ~
Carl Sandburg, "Sunset from Omaha Hotel Window"


This series of interdisciplinary performances combines Carl Sandburg's poetry and folk songs from his compilation, "The American Songbag" to bring back to the people the essence of American culture - its adventure, its hard working people, its urban and rural lives.  Sandburg never forgot the children as well.  His "Rootabaga Stories" are whimsical stories that often use nonsense language, and were originally created for his own daughters. And still his performances was always geared toward his audience in all its diversity.  Performance include Sandburg's Prairie Poetry at Merryman Performing Arts Center, Kearney 2007-2008.  Sandburg's Chicago working peoples' poems and Blues songs 2011 at University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.  Sandburg's western poems and songs 2014 at Colorado College, Kearney.  Sandburg western landscapes and cowboy songs 2015 at The World Theatre, Kearney.

Our performance formats use Sandburg's own tour style and replicates the platform performer's unique connection to audience in opera house venues. In each location of the program, Kate Benzel, Mike Adams and Chuck Peek collaborate with local poets and musicians to bring the program home to the audience.  Past performances include focus on a pioneer theme - the Great Plains, railway towns, Chicago, American West.  Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate, was instrumental in the first production.  And Nebraska State poets Bill Kloefkorn and Twyla Hansen and Illinois Poet Laureate, Kevin Stein, and Colorado Poet Laureate, David Mason, have all taken part in performances.  Additionally Mike Adams recruited local musicians from each location to take part in the performance.  The 2008 Performance with Ted Kooser received a 2010 Heartland Emmy for Nebraska Educational Television film.

Categories: Literature, Music
Tags: play song, play video
Related: People
Mike Adams
Mike Adams
Script Collaborator, Music Director
Coordinated musicians, guitar and singer
Chuck Peek, Professor Emeritus and Poet
Chuck Peek
Script Collaborator, Emcee, Poet
Kate Benzel, Managing Editor. Professor Emerita University of Nebraska-Kearney, Scholar. Producer.
Kate Benzel
Script collaboration, Producer
Presented Introductions to Carl Sandburg's life before this performance.
Related: Works
Carl Sandburg and the Sunburnt West Commemorative Poster, 2015

Carl Sandburg 's Sunburnt West in Nebraska

Performance
Kate Benzel’s production 85 years after Carl Sandburg's 1929 visit revisits his affection for the West.

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