Radio Active Theater presents Spoon River Anthology radio drama. This event is part of the Small Stones Festival of the Arts.
In Spoon River Anthology, American poet Edgar Lee Masters (1869–1950) created a series of compelling free-verse monologues in which former citizens of a mythical Midwestern town speak touchingly from the grave of the thwarted hopes and dream of their lives. First published in book form in 1915, the Anthology was the crowning achievement of Masters' career as a poet, and a work that would become a landmark of 20th-century American literature. In these pages, no less than 214 individual voices are heard—some in no more than a dozen moving lines.
Each poem is an autobiographical epitaph of a dead citizen, delivered by the dead themselves. Characters include Tom Merritt, Amos Sibley, Carl Hamblin, Fiddler Jones and A.D. Blood. They speak about the sorts of things one might expect: Some recite their histories and turning points, others make observations of life from the outside, and petty ones complain of the treatment of their graves, while few tell how they really died. The subject of afterlife receives only the occasional brief mention, and even those seem to be contradictory. Speaking without reason to lie or fear the consequences, they construct a picture of life in their town that is shorn of façades. The interplay of various villagers — such as a bright and successful man crediting his parents for all he's accomplished, and an old woman weeping because he is secretly her illegitimate child — forms a gripping, if not pretty, whole. Alternately plaintive, anguished, enigmatic, angry, and contemptuous, the voices of Spoon River, although distinctively small-town Americans, evoke themes of love and hope, disappointment and despair that are universal in their resonance.
Now produced for the stage as a series of monologues, we invite you to join us for this dramatic production of selections from the Spoon River Anthology.
This event will be reprised at 7:00pm on Saturday October 16, 2021.