PETE SEEGER’S THE INCOMPLEAT FOLKSINGER
The Incompleat Folksinger is an absolute delight from start to finish. I’m a huge Pete Seeger fan. I’ve read the book the show’s based on. I saw Seeger live – twice. This show did justice to who the man was, as well as what made him so wonderful as a live performer. The stories are interesting and intimate. Mark Hellman effortlessly pulls the audience into singing different parts of one song after another, without even seeming to try. This is a loving tribute to a great artist and a man of integrity. I left the theatre feeling inspired and bonded with everyone there. – TJ Dawe (author/performer MEDICINE, SLIPKNOT, BURN JOB, MARATHON)
Pete Seeger was a folk singer, social activist, and a key figure in the mid-20th century global folk music revival. He sang in defence of the poor, the oppressed, and the exploited; and always to enliven and encourage, to delight, and to tell tales. Pete Seeger’s The Incompleat Folksinger (adapted by Ross Desprez and Mark Hellman from the book of the same name, pub. 1972), shares, in Seeger’s own words and the music of many, his inspirations, his conflicts with bosses, government committees(HUAC) and the mass media, his favourite songs, stories, and instruments, and the kind of learning that comes from listening carefully.
This unique full-length solo performance combines theatre, story telling, music, and audience participation in the form of a huge singalong, for which Seeger was perhaps most famous. Taking the audience on a journey spanning 35 years and featuring all or part of 29 songs, Seeger reflects on his involvement in the formative events of the 20th Century while introducing some of his greatest inspirations, including Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays, Leadbelly, Martin Luther King, and the love of his life, Toshi Ohta. Invited to sing at every turn, the audience is completely engaged and embedded in the performance, whether as a small group of striking oil workers in Oklahoma City, a bunch of soldiers jamming in a latrine in Alabama, a thousand Arabs and Jews packed into an Israeli hotel ballroom days before the Six Day War, or among the half a million people gathered in Washington DC to protest the Vietnam War. By the finale of “If I Had a Hammer” audience and performer merge into a mass choir, embodying the principle that Seeger lived through his life and art: “Participation. That’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
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* Originally produced by the Other Guys Theatre Co. (Victoria, BC) in 2015, PETE SEEGER’S THE INCOMPLEAT FOLKSINGER is now produced independently by Mark Hellman of Victoria, BC.
Original production team:
Director – Ross Desprez
Musical Director – Tobin Stokes
Lighting Design – Rebekah Johnson
Dramaturgy – Sandy Cumberland
Production Stage Manager – Valerie Houle
Bookings/Info: MARK HELLMAN 250-382-7048 or go to CONTACT page.
MEANWHILE, WHEN NOT PERFORMING AS PETE SEEGER, MARK HAS A NUMBER OF OTHER PROJECTS OCCURRING SIMULTANEOUSLY:
ARTSTARTS – ARTISTS IN THE CLASSROOM ON LINE DIRECTORY
Short term workshops and long term residencies in schools in the CRD and throughout Vancouver Island. Mark is ready to assist with applications for funding and all other aspects of project administration. The following links will take you directly to the AICD–you can find Mark under ‘theatre‘, ‘storytelling‘, ‘Interdisciplinary‘ or ‘Vancouver Island and the Coast‘. More info on Applied Arts page.
TRACKS OF THE TROUBADOUR
Developed originally for BC’s 150th Anniversary as part of the festivities at the Royal BC Museum, TRACKS OF THE TROUBADOUR is a free-wheeling one-man musical tribute to the late, great folksinger and folk song archivist Phil Thomas. It is also a personal encounter with BC song writers, story tellers, history keepers and social commentators dating back 150 years, and a grand guided musical tour from the Rocky Mountains to Vancouver Island.
Listen to sample tracks here:
Introduction – Are You From Bevan? – Chief Douglas’ Daughter – Greenchain Blues – My Name Tis Vernon Fetterley
Mark entertains on a variety of instruments: guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, and even the occasional banjo–a hit with family audiences, private parties, schools and seniors residences. For more information go to contact page.