PETE SEEGER’S THE INCOMPLEAT FOLKSINGER – 2020 and BEYOND!
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to the current measures taken by local governments, producers, and community presenters in light of COVID19, all plans to tour THE INCOMPLEAT FOLKSINGER in the spring of 2020 have been put on hold until the situation changes. We have utmost confidence that measures to ‘flatten the curve’ will have the desired effect, and we look forward to playing for you soon! STAY IN TOUCH!!
Fresh back from its first tour to the United States, with SOLD OUT shows in New York City (Bestseller – United Solo Festival 2019) and Maine (Saco River Theatre), Mark Hellman’s rollicking, tumultuous, triumphant, musical, singalong tribute to legendary folksinger and activist, Pete Seeger, is now getting set for more touring in 2020! Plans are shaping up for tours throughout BC, across Canada, and eventually back to the US.
CHECK IN HERE REGULARLY FOR NEWS/UDPATES ABOUT:
January 18, 7pm – FANNY BAY COMMUNITY HALL – “As part of our concert season, Mark Hellman recently presented his show, The Incompleat Folksinger. at the Fanny Bay Hall. Our audience were spellbound by his presentation as Pete Seeger and delighted to hear so many tunes we recognised, as well as some we didn’t. Mark unveiled a piece of American history not well known to many of us, in an entertaining way. He immediately engaged his audience and had everyone singing along (even to tunes we didn’t necessarily know well, if at all!). I highly recommend this show as part of a concert series or as a stand-alone performance.” – Neville Hope, Fanny Bay Community Arts Council
POSTPONED UNTIL FALL 2020 – BC FUNDRAISING TOUR! Sponsored by The Other Guys Theatre Company, this is an opportunity for smaller communities to partner with local non-profit organizations to raise funds for local causes. Show costs (artist fee, travel, accommodation) will be subisidized to make the show affordable, and to maximize the potential for fundraising. PLEASE CONTACT MARK with inquiries (contact page)
June 7 – THE PERETZ CENTRE (Vancouver) – Fundraiser (details coming soon)
Fall 2021 – HOME ROUTES TOUR! (Southern Ontario, details coming soon)
2015-2020 AT A GLANCE:
* indicates fundraiser
Fanny Bay Community Hall (Fanny Bay, BC)
Saco River Theatre (Buxton, Me, USA) SOLD OUT
United Solo Festival (New York, NY, USA) BESTSELLER/SOLD OUT
Maine Irish Heritage Center (Portland, Me)
Saltair Community Hall (Chemainus, BC)
Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge (Parksville, BC)
* Sooke Folk Music Society(Sooke, BC)
Merville Community Hall (Merville, BC)
Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre (Chilliwack, BC)
The Roxy Theatre (Gabriola Island, BC)
Lasqueti Island Pub (Lasqueti Island, BC)
* Brock House Society Fundraiser (Vancouver, BC)
Mayworks Festival of Labour & the Arts (Winnipeg, MB)
The Sanctuary in Brentwood (Burnaby, BC)
Waterfront Gallery (Ladysmith, BC)
Mary Winspear Centre (Sidney, BC)
Espace Freestanding Room (Montreal, PQ)
Brentwood Bay Village Empourium (Brentwood Bay, BC)
Langham Cultural Centre (Kaslo, BC)
Richardson Hall (Winnipeg, MB)
* Beacon Community Centre (Protection Island, BC)
Gabriola Arts Festival (Gabriola Island, BC)
Firehall Arts Centre (Vancouver, BC)
Malaspina Theatre (Nanaimo, BC)
Evergreen Cultural Centre (Coquitlam, BC)
UNO Festival of Solo Performance (Intrepid Theatre, Victoria)
Metro Studio Theatre (Victoria, BC, premiere)
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 (A Canadian Bartender at Butlin’s – Soho Playhouse NYC, One Man Star Wars Trilogy, One Man Lord of the Rings and One Woman Sex and the City)
FIND THE SHOW ON FACEBOOK
….it’s so real. It became this huge singalong…I’ve never been to a piece of theatre like that.
– David Lennam, CBC Radio
…Hellman shines….I can’t remember a play that had me singing along so much.
– Kathleen Oliver, Georgia Straight
CLICK ON THESE LINKS FOR MORE SHOW INFO:
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(2-act) solo performance combines verbatim 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 among striking oil workers in Oklahoma City, 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 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.”
Whenever possible while on tour, Mark is happy to make contact and do some outreach with local community choirs. This may include a visit to a rehearsal to inform the group about the show and sing a couple of songs, or may take the form of an invitation and choir discount for those willing to come and join in the singing. This is also a wonderful way for local producers to expand their audience base. The following choirs have been instrumental in engaging their fellow audience members to sing out and sing loud!
COMMUNITY CHOIR OUTREACH 2015 – 2018
Gettin’ Higher Choir (Victoria BC)
Maple Leaf Singers (Coquitlam, BC)
De Corso Choir (Coquitlam, BC)
Aurora Celebration Choir (Vancouver)
Solidarity Notes Labour Choir (Vancouver)
Harbour City Singers (Nanaimo, BC)
Margaret’s Choir (Winnipeg, MB)
Labour Temple Choir (Winnipeg, MB)
* Originally produced by the Other Guys Theatre Co. (Victoria, BC) in 2015.
Original production team:
Director – Ross Desprez
Musical Director – Tobin Stokes
Lighting Design – Rebekah Johnson
Dramaturgy – Sandy Cumberland
Production Stage Manager – Valerie Houle