> Home > News > Press_releases > 10_22_2013

Poetic Memory Play A Song for My Father, Opens at The Western Stage

October 22nd, 2013

Author: Daniel Tarker

Salinas, Calif. - The Western Stage (TWS) at Hartnell College presents eight performances of nationally acclaimed playwright and poet David Budbill's moving memory play A Song for My Father, November 2 - 24, 2013 in the intimate Studio Theater, Hartnell College Performing Arts Building "K" located at 411 Central Avenue, Salinas, California.

"If you never get the blues, this play is not for you," acknowledges Budbill in his program notes about this tender and poetic drama, which premiered at the Lost Nation Theatre in Vermont in 2010. "If you've never had any conflicts with your parents, or watched helplessly as the parents you love grew old, if you've never felt guilty about anything, this play is not for you. But if you've had these experiences, these feelings, or if you can imagine them, then, I hope A Song for My Father is a play you can relate to."

Yet, who hasn't shared these experiences? In a roundabout way, Budbill is really saying that A Song for My Father is indeed a play for everyone. Drawing on the musical traditions of the blues with more than a nod toward Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself," Budbill explores the complex relationship he had with his father through the semi-autographical characters of Frank, a retired streetcar driver who grew up in the "school of hard knock's", and Randy, a poet who has never quite lived up to his father's expectations.

Yet, when Randy's mother passes away and his father re-marries, they begin to face some of the most serious challenges to their relationship - especially as his once virile father’s physical and mental health begins to deteriorate. Randy wrestles with his guilt about their strained and often distant relationship as he travels bank and forth from the mountains of Vermont to his childhood home in Cleveland, Ohio to be with his father.

David Budbill is an accomplished playwright, poet, and essayist whose dramatic works have been produced by the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco, The Western Stage, and Lost Nation Theatre. In addition to his numerous publications as a poet, he has also been a featured commentator on National Public Radio and is a frequent contributor to Garrison Keilor's NPR program Writer's Almanac.

A Song for My Father performs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Purchase tickets through www.westernstage.com or at the box office by calling 831-755-6816. For press photos, visit http://westernstage.com/photos-a-song-for-my-father/.

Consider purchasing a Flex Pass and reserve your tickets for our holiday musical Crazy for You. Group tickets are available through Marketing and Group Sales at 831-759-6012.

Hartnell Community College District

The Hartnell CCD serves over 15,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, basic skills courses, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world class STEM education, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities, and athletics. We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit www.hartnell.edu.