Railsplitter by Maurice Manning | November 20, 7:30 p.m.

Streaming through January 2021. 

Transylvania University Theater, in partnership with Maurice Manning, an esteemed American poet, Guggenheim Fellow, Pulitzer Prize finalist and professor of English, presents a performance adaptation of his latest book of poetry, “Railsplitter.”

Railsplitter speaks, through poetry, in the imagined posthumous voice of Abraham Lincoln… Invoking Lincoln’s apparent belief ‘in the value of whim and wonder,’ historical narratives and philosophical ponderings alike are set to the music of lyric and the bounce of rhyme. 

Copper Canyon Press

Through this filmed, online performance, the theater program asks the question: How does the mythology of Lincoln speak currently through us, expressed by Manning’s words?

Railsplitter is a collection of 31 short interpretations of Manning’s poems — ranging from straight recitations of the lines to music videos. A choose-your-own adventure style of online theater performance, the production crew boasts of more than 10 directors, working with over 40 performers, including students, faculty, staff and alumni, put together by eight student video editors.

Click the play button or watch Transylvania’s YouTube channel for the video performance. It will be available for viewing through the end of January 2021.