The New Salem Lincoln League is proud to sponsor Theatre in the Park! The 2016 season will have the world-premiere of a new production!
“My Heart’s Home, Edgar Lee Masters Celebrates the Sangamon Country”, directed by Phil Funkenbusch, is an original presentation featuring the works of Edgar Lee Master’s poetry with original music by Mark Mathewson. The poems center on the rural life and people that lived in Menard County highlighting the masters of the fiddle and much more. This brand new play will be performed at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site on August 25, 26, 27, 28, 2016.
Masters is best known for Spoon River Anthologies, a book of poetry which included an epitaph for Ann Rutledge:
Out of me unworthy and unknown
The vibrations of deathless music:
“With malice toward none, with charity toward all.”
Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions,
And the beneficent face of a nation
Shining with justice and truth.
I am Ann Rutledge who sleeps beneath these weeds,
Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln,
Wedded to him, not through union,
But through separation.
Bloom forever, O Republic,
From the dust of my bosom!
That’s the verse which visitors see today on Ann’s tombstone in Petersburg’s Oakland Cemetery. And opening day for the new play will be the anniversary of Ann’s death (August 25, 1835)!
But Phil Funkenbusch’s production will explore the way Masters saw another river and its environs. The Sangamon Country includes New Salem and Petersburg where Masters lived as child. And surely the poet who grew up in this country would also appreciate the fine music which has been included in this new play. The contributions of Mark Mathewson, a well-respected local roots-musician, promise to add just the right notes!
Ticket information can be found by following the links on the Theater page. Take a couple of minutes to check out the You Tube video and hear what Phil has to say about the show – you owe it to yourself to come!