First Person: Seeing America is a performance in word, music and image

Actors Bill Pullman and Lily Knight join Ensemble Galilei

In 2011 Three Stages’ audience delighted to “Universe of Dreams,” Ensemble Galilei’s presentation of poetry, music, and images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The Ensemble returns to Three Stages with actors Bill Pullman and Lily Knight in a stirring examination of America — First Person: Seeing America.

“This fusion of words, image and music — once again in collaboration with NPR’s Neal Conan — blends prestigious images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a thoughtful meditation on America,” Executive Director Dave Pier noted “It’s an honor, of course, to have artists of the stature of Bill Pullman, Lily Knight and Ensemble Galilei in our Stage One. But maybe even more than that, I think the audience can expect a moving and memorable experience, as only these multi-leveled presentations can provide.”

Begin with the strength, diversity and depth of the photography collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: photographs by Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Helen Levitt and others. Take those images and accompany them with writings by Jim Harrison, Dexter Filkins, James Agee, Frederick Douglass, Calamity Jane and more; writings read by actor Bill Pullman and actress Lily Knight, who brilliantly bring people, events and places to life.

The soundtrack is the evocative music of Ensemble Galilei – traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and Sweden; from the Renaissance, Michael Praetorius and new compositions, featuring fiddles, harp, viola da gamba, percussion, banjo, whistles and oboe.

Transcendent and soulful music winds around the text as high-resolution images are projected on a large screen in the center of the stage.

What people! The haunted faces of rural Americans as they struggle to survive the Dust Bowl, indelible portraits of Native Americans. The events that shaped a nation — the Civil War, the Great Depression, the immigrant experience. And what places — from the sidewalks of New York to the majesty of Yosemite. Great photographers captured it all — hardship, war and despair, and the gritty determination of extraordinary people in a magnificent land. This is what  these extraordinary photographers saw.

First Person: Seeing America, with Ensemble Galilei, Bill Pullman & Lily Knight will perform in Three Stages at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct 14. Tickets are $25 to $39 with premium at $45; students with ID get in for $12. Tickets may be purchased online at threestages.net or from Three Stages ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Three Stages is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.

Actor Bill Pullman’s career includes the blockbuster movies “Independence Day” and “While You Were Sleeping,” numerous independent films, the current TV hit “Torchwood: Miracle Day” and critically acclaimed work on Broadway.

Actress Lily Knight appears on stage in Los Angeles and New York (Broadway and Off Broadway). Her film work includes roles in “Changeling,” “Around the Bend,” “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” and “AI.” She has appeared on more than 50 television shows, including “Big Love,” “Saving Grace,” “The Mentalist,” “Boston Legal” and “Weeds.”

Ensemble Galilei is hailed for its unique blend of Irish, Scottish, Early and Original music, creating an inspired sound on stage and CD. Touring both gorgeous instrumental programs and exciting collaborative projects, the group takes each audience on an exquisitely designed journey. Mixing the colors and styles of early instruments with Celtic traditions, the group is equally at home with Irish Reels, Medieval Cantigas and English Country Dance tunes. Ensemble Galilei is versatile, virtuosic, energetic, and very entertaining.

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Posted by on Sep 20 2012.
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