Mark Hellman pays a transcendent tribute to legendary folk singer Pete Seeger that will have you humming and singing along in “The Incompleat Folksinger.” (Submitted)

Pete Seeger’s The Incompleat Folksinger with Mark Hellman comes to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Directed by Ross Desprez, the show takes place at the Cultural Centre on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Pete Seeger was a folk singer, social activist, and a key figure in the mid-20th-century global folk music revival. He sang in defence of the poor, the oppressed, and the exploited, and always to enliven and encourage, to delight, and to tell tales, inspiring generations of music makers all across Canada.

In this rollicking, tour-de-force show (adapted from Seeger’s 1972 memoir) The Incompleat Folksinger, multi-disciplinary performing artist Mark Hellman imagines a concert somewhere on the road in the early 1970s.

Using Seeger’s own words and the music of many, he takes us on a globe-trotting journey spanning 35 years: singing in defence of underlings, standing up to bosses, governments, and the mass media.

Don’t miss the chance to partake in this compelling performance when it comes to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on November 9.

Inviting audience participation, thus embedding them in the story, Hellman looks back on Seeger’s involvement in the formative events of the 20th Century. The Great Depression and the union movement, WWII, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, amongst the half a million people gathered in Washington DC protesting the War in Vietnam, at a concert hall somewhere in Canada, or sitting on the banks of the Hudson River, you’ll feel like you were right there.

Also paying tribute to some of Seeger’s greatest inspirations: Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays, Leadbelly, Martin Luther King, and the love of his life—Toshi Ohta—Hellman invites the audience members to sing along at every turn. By the finale of If I Had a Hammer, performer and audience members merge into one mass choir, embodying the very principle that Seeger lived by through his life and art: “Participation. That’s what’s gonna save the human race.”

Mark Hellman is a Canadian multi-disciplinary performing artist, educator, and independent producer with over thirty years of professional experience. An actor, improviser, musician, composer, puppeteer, director, and creator, Hellman’s career began in Theatre for Young Audiences, performing over 700 shows from coast to coast.

He has since divided his time between working for professional theatre, producing and directing interdisciplinary projects engaging artists to train together and create new work, and in the last decade producing solo works combining storytelling, music and mass audience participation, and street performances combining installation, puppetry, Shakespeare and audience interaction.

Hellman’s culmination of talents flourishes in this spectacular performance evoking not only nostalgia but also bridging the span of time to meet up with today’s struggles in Pete Seeger’s The Incompleat Folksinger.

Pete Seeger’s The Incompleat Folksinger is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on November 9, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for seniors, $30 for youths, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).

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