Alternate Title Rimbaud
Premiere World Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin United States
Description With Rimbaud in New York, The Civilians create an original, playful, and enriching inquiry into the meaning and legacy of Illuminations, the visionary 130-year-old book of prose poems that caused a sensation in the world of letters upon its publication and led to Rimbaud’s enshrinement as the archetypal boy genius rebel. Using John Ashbery’s highly-acclaimed recent translation of Illuminations as its creative touchstone, the production underscores how these revolutionary poems continue to resonate in the American imagination. The show locates Rimbaud’s legacy in the downtown scene of the 1970s, in the 1950s of Ashbery and Frank O’Hara, in the many artists and musicians he influenced—Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, David Wojnarowicz, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others—and most centrally in the poems themselves, which The Civilians animate through performance, an eclectic theatricality, and songs by Adam Cochran, Michael Friedman, Rebecca Hart, Joseph Keckler, and Grace McClean, with additional compositions by Daniel Kluger. Produced by BAM with major support from the Poetry Foundation, Rimbaud in New York brings the elusive icon to multivalent life.