Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Ti Jean Blues, a play adapted and directed by five-time Obie award winner JoAnne Akalaitis, will be performed Saturday, March 4, through Wednesday, March 8, evenings at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. The play, free and open to the public, will be performed by Bard College students in the Scene Shop Theater of the Avery Arts Center at Bard College. Ti Jean Blues will be followed by poetry readings curated by poets and Bard faculty members Bob Holman, Ann Lauterbach, and Leonard Schwartz.

Ti Jean Blues is a theater piece based on the life and writing of Jack Kerouac, who created a quintessentially American form of fiction in which childhood and family memories, love and intense friendships, the turbulence of cities and relentless travel, jazz, drugs, and spirituality weave an exuberantly brilliant dramatic fabric. This piece involves eight actors and a sound score from the works of jazz geniuses like Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Charlie Mingus, and others, plus original music composed by Philip Glass. In this piece, no one plays Kerouac. Both men and women, singly and in chorus, through language and movement, represent Kerouac's journey.

Beat poet and novelist Jack Kerouac was born to a French Canadian family in Massachusetts and nicknamed "Ti Jean." His best-known novel is On the Road, which chronicled his journeys in the late 1940s and 1950s and has inspired generations.

Reservations are necessary. Call the box office at 914-758-8622.

About the Director:

JoAnne Akalaitis, Wallace Benjamin Flint and L. May Hawver Flint Professor of Theater at Bard, is the cofounder of the experimental theater company Mabou Mines. She has staged productions at the American Repertory Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, New York City Opera, Goodman Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Court Theater, and Guthrie Theater. She cochairs the directing program at The Juilliard School and is former artistic director of the New York Shakespeare Festival. Akalaitis has received five Obie Awards, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Edwin Booth Award, the Roasamund Gilder Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theater, and a grant from the National Theater Artist Residency Program of the Pew Charitable Trust.

About the Poets:

Bob Holman, visiting professor of writing and integrated arts at Bard, has been described by Henry Louis Gates in The New Yorker as " . . . the postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti." Holman produced a five-part series for PBS, The United States of Poetry, and coedited the accompanying book. He reopened and directs the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City and coedited Aloud! Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, winner of the American Book Award. His most recent collection of poetry is The Collect Call of the Wild.

Ann Lauterbach, the Ruth and David E. Schwab II Professor in Languages and Literature, is also on the faculty of the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. She is author of the poetry collections On a Stair, And for Example, Clamor, Before Recollection, and Many Times, But Then. Her poems and essays have been published in numerous journals, including Conjunctions, to which she has been a contributing editor since 1981. Her column, The Night Sky, regularly appeared in American Poetry Review. She has taught at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, Princeton University, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, among others. She was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1993 and has received fellowships from the New York State Foundation for the Arts, Ingram Merrill Foundation, and Guggenheim Foundation.

Leonard Schwartz is a visiting assistant professor at Bard College. He is author of the poetry collections Words Before the Articulate: New and Selected Poems, Gnostic Blessing, Exiles: Ends, and of an essay collection, A Flicker at the Edge of Things: Essays on Poetics 1987–97. He is coeditor of An Anthology of New American Poets and Primary Trouble: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. His poetry has appeared in the following publications, Trafika, First Intensity, Agni, The Five Fingers Review, and The Denver Quarterly, among others. He received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Arts-Link Collaborative grant for exchange with Russian poets.

# # #


back to top

This event was last updated on 03-02-2001