Patrick Scully Performs Walt Whitman in “Leaves of Grass-Illuminated”

Patrick Scully Performs Walt Whitman in “Leaves of Grass-Illuminated”

Solo performance at NYM Cultural Center on November 3, 2018

The Cultural Center in New York Mills is proud to present Patrick Scully as Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass – Illuminated on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. This one-man theater show is free to attend and recommended for persons in high school and older.

This solo performance summons the spirit of America’s great poet, Walt Whitman. We celebrate Whitman’s 200th birthday (May 31, 2019) and how Whitman is also an important artist for our era; a poet who loved America, and used his writing to strategically transform what he believed needed to be changed.

This show begins an important conversation about celebrating male companionship. Whitman crafted clear strategies to deal with the social pressures and the consequences he faced for writing about taboo topics. This is a side of Whitman that few of us learned about in our American Literature classes. Some of these taboos have disappeared, others are still very relevant – such as relationships between men, and the forces that seek to deny them. The show reveals how Whitman seemed to be able to look into the future, foreseeing that same-sex relations would move out of the shadows into the light of day. There will be time for questions after the performance.

Leaves of Grass – Illuminated is the product of over 10 years of research and development. Scully has his roots in choreography and has read over 55 books by and about Whitman. A large cast version of this show opened in Minneapolis to critical acclaim in 2014. Scully developed that version into a one-man show in a residency at MANCC at Florida State University in 2015, and premiered Leaves of Grass – Illuminated in New York City and Minneapolis in 2016.

In 2017/18, Scully toured the show to 24 communities in Minnesota, with support from the Minnesota State Arts Board Legacy Funds. In 2018/19, again with MSAB touring support, he is touring it to another 24 communities, including New York Mills. The performance will also be presented in July 2019 at the historic Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

“Both Whitman and Scully are major figures; they contain multitudes.” (Village Voice)

“Patrick Scully was born to play Walt Whitman.” (Lavender Magazine)

“Scully is the perfect caretaker for Whitman’s legacy.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“Doubtless I could not have perceived the universe, or written one of my poems,

If I had not freely given myself to comrades, to love.”     Excerpt from Leaves of Grass

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

This performance will be preceded by a Gallery Reception for the Cultural Center’s new exhibit, Jeremy Lundquist & Regan Golden Printmaking and Installation Art Show, which opens in the Gallery on October 31. The Reception will be held on Saturday, November 3rd from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., and is free to attend and open to all.

Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available for both the Gallery Reception and the Leaves of Grass – Illuminated theater performance.

For more information, call 218-385-3339, or visit or

The Cultural Center in New York Mills is a rural hub for creativity, community vitality, and lifelong learning in the arts. We offer visitors intimate opportunities to encounter art and artists in our 80-seat concert listening room, two galleries in a historic building, a gift store featuring local artists, an artist residency program, a sculpture park, and a variety of opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. Since our incorporation in 1990, we have been passionate about connecting people to artists and rich cultural experiences in rural Minnesota, celebrating the local and being a window to the world.