When the Trees Sing – Performance and Talk Back

The Papa Tank Theatre for Inclusion will present two performances of the original play When The Tree Sings on June 8 – 9, 2024. The play is inspired by the poetry of Mattie Stepanek. SC Humanities supported this program with an Accessibility and Inclusion Grant.

Papa Tank Theatre for Inclusion works with youth ages 5-21 to create original theatre featuring artists of all abilities. As part of guided programs (Sessions), students join in twice-monthly Workshops led by professional artists and present a live performance. Learn more: https://www.papatank.org/.

When the Trees Sing is an original play based on the work of Mattie Stepanek, a well-respected poet and award-winning peace ambassador who published six collections of Heartsongs poetry books and one collection of Just Peace essays. All seven of Mattie’s books became New York Times bestsellers. Mattie died on June 22, 2004 at age 13 due to complications of Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy. To find out more about Mattie’s extraordinary life and his influence, visit www.mattieonline.com.

The premiere will include the following poems by Mattie Stepanek. Each poem will be represented by music, movement, visual art, spoken word or a combination of these, created by Papa Tank teaching artists and the cast.

Morning Gifts—- a movement piece accompanied by a reading of the poem
Songs of The Wind— a multi-discipline piece, part speaking, part singing including sound effects
When The Trees Sing—a song with movement
Leaf For A Day—a theatre/storytelling piece
Heartsong—-a song
Climbing To Heaven— a movement piece with instrumental musical background and a reading of the poem Beware The Everwolf—a theatre/storytelling piece
For Our World—a movement piece accompanied by a reading of the poem
On Being A Champion— a song with movement

Note: An ASL interpreter will be at each performance along with other sensory equipment.

There will be a cast and audience talk back after each show to discuss the importance of and meaning behind this collaborative program.

There will be two performances of When the Trees Sing – Saturday, June 8 at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 9 at 3:00 p.m. Both events take place at Washington Street United Methodist Church, 1401 Washington Street, Columbia, SC 29201. Tickets are $10 per person. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets HERE.

SC Humanities’ Accessibility and Inclusion Grants are intended to support making public humanities programs and collections more accessible to diverse public audiences. Learn more: https://schumanities.org/grants/howtoapply/.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c)3 organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos, and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.