Boy genius, rebel, visionary, Rimbaud set off a bomb in the world of letters with the publication of Illuminations. 130 years later, this dazzling book of poems, written mostly in prose, continues to amaze . John Ashbery's recent highly-acclaimed translation offers us these poems through the wonderfully precise and always surprising language of one of America's greatest contemporary poets. For Rimbaud in New York, The Civilians create a wildly original, playful and enriching inquiry into the meaning and legacy of Illuminations, staging how these revolutionary poems continue to resonate in the American imagination, setting off explosions in the minds of new readers. The show finds Rimbaud in the 1950s of Ashbery and Frank O'Hara, in the downtown scene of the 1970s and in the many artists and musicians he's influenced -- Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, David Wojnarowicz and Jean-Michel Basquiat, to name a few. But, most centrally the show focuses on the poems themselves, which The Civilians animate through performance, song and an eclectic theatricality that brings Rimbaud into the present, here and alive in New York City.
Written and Directed by Steve Cosson
Poems by Arthur Rimbaud translated by John Ashbery
Featuring songs by Adam Cochran, Michael Friedman, Rebecca Hart, Joseph Keckler, Matthew Dean Marsh and Grace McLean
Produced by BAM with major support from the Poetry Foundation
March 1 - 6, 2016 at BAM
Visit www.bam.org for tickets and information.
Scenic Design: Andromache Chaifant
Costume Design: Paloma Young
Lighting Design: Eric Southern
Sound Design and Additional Compositions: Daniel Kluger
Music Direction: Matthew Dean Marsh
Harriett D. Foy
Dito Van Reigersberg