A Word From the Director at Penn State University
SINGIN’ THE MOON UP: THE VOICE OF JEAN RITCHIE was staged at Pennsylvania Centre Stage in September, 2005.The result is a theatre piece that I describe as a hybrid, part concert, part story telling, and part fully played scenes all surrounded by a retrospective of the music and life of the American folk music icon Jean Ritchie. Please visit the video link, to view a short montage that displays rehearsal process footage and live performance to give a brief visual sampling of our debut production. Also visit the “original cast recording” page to hear samples recorded live onstage during the run at Pennsylvania Centre Stage. You will also find bios on the performers, short bio of Jean Ritchie, press article and reviews contained on these pages in the near future.
Besides being an important retrospective on the life work of a seminal figure in the history of American folk music, I believe that this show is significant for our time as it taps into a part of American culture that is quickly fading from our digital landscape. It is a story of a simpler life and a simpler time that not only succeeds as an historical marker, but presents a significant body of work that is virtually unknown for a new generation. Simply put, it needs to be heard. We were encouraged to go forward with this project when we found that our audiences in Pennsylvania were hungry for this kind of music, emotional, passionate, and grateful for this kind of sharing, through song, of a culture of honesty and grace.
I hope you enjoy sampling the materials here and will join us in keeping this music alive. The performers we have to present this piece to you are exemplary, and I believe you will agree when you hear the music.
We strongly believe that this project will continue to find eager and enthusiastic audiences.