Be transported by the joyous, inspirational, and sometimes heartbreaking story of Woody Guthrie, America’s great troubadour. Four performers, playing more than 20 instruments, paint a portrait of a man whose songs brought inspiration and understanding to generations of Americans. Songs include “This Land Is Your Land,” “Bound for Glory,” and “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know Yuh”
Executive Artistic Director, Susanna Gellert says, “Most all of us grew up singing along to Woody Guthrie’s songs. ‘This Land is Your Land’, ‘Cumberland Gap’, ‘House of the Rising Sun’: these melodies are a part of the fabric of childhood (and adulthood) in America. Woody Sez captures the sweeping story of our country’s history, using the songs of America’s folk philosopher as the thread to tie it all together. It teaches us, not only about the biography of Woody Guthrie and his songwriting, but also about the resiliency that made this country what it is today. It is a very special play about the power of song to bind us together and carry us forward through good times and hard times.”
WOODY SEZ was devised by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley, and Darcie Deaville, Helen Jean Russell, and Andy Teirstein. Lutken and his company have toured Europe, the British Isles, China, the Middle East, and the United States. He won the Helen Hayes and Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Actor for his portrayal of Woody Guthrie.
The Weston production is directed by original co-author and director, Nick Corley. Nick also co-wrote and directed A Young Lady of Fashion (Fulton Theatre); Eliot Ness…in Cleveland (Denver Center) and the upcoming Normal Teenage Girl and The Life and Adventures of Davy Crockett. NYC Directing credits include: Flight (Joe A. Callaway Award nomination), About Face (New York Musical Festival nomination for best direction), Tall Grass, Tim and Scrooge, Mother Russia (Carnegie Hall), and Associate Director on the Broadway revival of Burn This.
Music Direction and portrayal of Woody Guthrie is by David M. Lutken (Broadway: Inherit the Wind; Ring of Fire; The Civil War; The Will Rogers Follies, Off-Broadway: Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie (Outer Critics’ Circle, Off-Broadway Alliance & Drama League Best Musical nominations), Southern Comfort; Stars in Your Eyes; Winter Man; The Portable Pioneer, and Prairie Show).
In addition to Lutken, at the Weston production, the show will star Weston newcomers Spiff Wiegand, Mimi Bessette, and Nyssa Grant.
Spiff Weigand, a skilled multi-instrumentalist and accomplished songwriter and recording engineer, has been featured on TV with Jimmy Fallon and John Oliver. National Tours: War Horse; Fame, New York: Red Roses, Green Gold (Minetta Lane); New York Animals (Bedlam Theatre Company); Much Ado About Nothing (Studio Theatre); Indecent (Pittsburgh Public).
Mimi Bessette is an accomplished artist with credits including; Broadway/Off-Broadway: Bonnie & Clyde; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Little Shop of Horrors; Smoke on the Mountain. National Tours: Soul Doctor; Parade; Keep on the Sunny Side; Big River. Film/TV: Annie (2014); Difficult People.
Nyssa Grant is a NYC-based artist making her Woody Sez debut with this production. Previously at Weston, Nyssa was in the band for 2019’s Oklahoma! National Tours: Once. Nyssa is a professional violinist and graduated with a BFA in musical theatre from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts.
WOODY SEZ: THE LIFE & MUSIC OF WOODY GUTHRIE plays at Walker Farm (705 Main Street, Weston, VT). Student tickets are $25. Adult tickets range from $50-74. This is also a Student Matinee production. Teachers and schools can learn more about participating at (westontheater.org/for-schools-teachers) Discounts available for veterans and Vermont residents. Prices do not include sales tax.
Weston Theater Company builds on and enhances the unique assets of its Vermont village campus to produce a diverse, entertaining, and challenging season of live professional theater and high impact events; enrich the theater-going experience with education and outreach programs for all ages; and make significant contributions to the American theater through training programs, play development, and retreats. It is a non-profit organization supported in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and an ever-growing family of individuals and organizations who believe in the impact the performing arts make on its community. Learn more at westontheater.org