Jacob's Pillow: 'Invisible Wings' to be performed
The site-specific work was commissioned by the Pillow in 1998; it represented three years of research by choreographer Joanna Haigood in tandem with musician Linda Tillery and storyteller Diane Ferlatte. The work brings to life the history of Jacob's Pillow as a station on the Underground Railroad for slaves escaping to freedom in the north during the 1800s.
Among the characters in "Invisible Wings" is farmer Stephen Carter, a descendent of the original settlers of the rocky Becket acreage. Carter harbored fugitives in a 1790s grain-storage barn, a structure which stands on the grounds today.
At dusk, audiences wind through the Pillow's fields and 19th-century buildings, accompanied by Diane Ferlatte, the narrator for the production. Linda Tillery and her Cultural Heritage Choir perform the coded chants born of slavery, while a series of haunting vignettes shows the characters enduring hardship and brutality in their struggle for liberty.
On Saturday at 4 p.m., distinguished historian and author Eric Foner discusses the Underground Railroad and analyzes race relations during the American Civil War. A dedication ceremony on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. will commemorate Jacob's Pillow as a site on the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail, a National Heritage Site. The Pillow is the second location in the Berkshires' African American history to be formally recognized. The trail includes more than 50 other sites.
Performances of "Invisible Wings" are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $38 each; a 10 percent discount is available for seniors, students, and youth 13 and under.
A limited number of $90 tickets are available for the Saturday performance, which is followed by a Festival Finale Benefit party. For tickets, call (413) 243-0745 or visit www.jacobspillow.org. Jacob's Pillow is at 358 George Carter Road, Becket.
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