Jon Crispin's Notebook

The Willard Suitcases at The American Shakespeare Center

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(That’s me in the middle with the actors.)

I have written before about Julianne Wick Davis’ song cycle based on my Willard Suitcases Project photographs.  The piece recently had its premier at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA and I was lucky enough to be in the area on Saturday evening to catch a performance.  Here is a link to Broadway World’s piece on the production.  Here is another write up in DC Metro’s Theatre Arts section.  I am sure there will be more reviews coming in the next weeks, and if you are interested just do a search for “Willard Suitcases Julianne Wick Davis”.

I was totally blown away by Julianne’s music and by the ASC’s production.  Ethan McSweenys’s direction was perfectly respectful of my work on the project, and of the patients featured in Julianne’s songs.  It was a really emotional evening for me, and if any of you live in the area (including DC, which is only a few hours away) please make every effort to see this before it closes on the 1st of December.  Staunton is a lovely town, and the ASC is remarkable.

I am so proud to have been an inspiration to Julianne and Ethan, and I am grateful for their sensitivity to the Willard patients whose suitcases make up the collection.

Julianne Wick Davis / Grand Central Station

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The evening at Joe’s Pub was amazing.  Julianne Wick Davis’ song cycle based on my suitcases photos was really incredible.  I was completely blown away by her talent and drive to get this going.  The project is still in the early stages of development, but it is so exciting to have been an inspiration to her. / I was so thrilled that my buddy from Wittenberg, Chris Brigham came out from Chicago for the event.  It was so great to see her.

I am on the Metro North train heading back to New Haven which goes in and out of Grand Central Station.

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It is quite a place.

The suitcases site has been having a slew of problems of late.  We are close to getting it sorted and it is currently back up and running.  It appears that it has been innundated with bot attacks attempting to take over the site.  Thanks to Steve Fox at Born Digital for all his hard work.  It has been very frustrating and costly, but fingers crossed we are working towards a resolution.  Cheers all, and thanks for following.

 

 

Willard Suitcases / Julianne Wick Davis

Posted in Music, Uncategorized, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 07/01/2017

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I flew up to New York City on Wednesday to sit in on an early rehearsal of a song cycle that Julianne Wick Davis is composing.  She came across the suitcases project a couple of years ago and asked permission to use my photographs as inspiration.  She hopes to end up with 20 songs, and had nine ready for the run through.  This was the first time she had heard them with voices other than her own.

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Julianne put together an amazing group of six actors and four musicians to perform the songs in a rehearsal room at NYU.

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Here she is working with Xander Rovang who was musical director for the day.

I was so pleased to be included, and came away feeling super excited about collaborating with her.  It is always a bit humbling to inspire creativity in others.  I am very excited about where this will end up.

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