Seattle Repertory Theatre presents WOODY SEZ by David M. Lutken from January 6 to 29, 2017. Librarians at The Seattle Public Library created this list of books, CDs and DVDs to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s WOODY SEZ: Beyond the Theatre
Playwright and musician David Lutken brings a folk legend to life in WOODY SEZ, a musical exploration of Guthrie’s life that the New York Times called “a theatrical patchwork quilt — scraps of biography and social history sewn together with bits of music and drama by four remarkably multitalented performers.”
If you’re going to see the show, it’s likely that you’re already familiar with the broad outlines of Guthrie’s story and his most famous tunes, chief among them “This Land is Your Land.” For more on the complex, controversial back story of that unofficial U.S. anthem, check out This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie and the Journey of an American Folk Song by music writer Robert Santelli.
However, you might be unaware of his ties to the Pacific Northwest. In 1941, Guthrie was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland to write music that would promote the Grand Coulee Dam and cheap hydroelectric power. Learn more about his travels in the area and the songs they inspired (including “Roll On, Columbia” and “Pastures of Plenty”) in local KEXP DJ Greg Vandy’s fascinating history 26 Songs in 30 Days: Woody Guthrie’s Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest.
If the talented musicians of WOODY SEZ have motivated you to learn to play these songs yourself, grab a guitar and a copy of Roll on Columbia: The Columbia River Songs (which includes the Washington State folk song, “Roll On, Columbia”). Not a musician, but still want more Guthrie? No worries – we’ve got you covered with Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection. This handsomely packaged three-disc compilation from Smithsonian Folkways collects his best known songs as well as lesser known tracks and includes a 150-page booklet full of essays and photographs.
For more books, movies and music by or about Woody Guthrie, check out this resource list.
~posted by Abby