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“RiverRoad” Creates A Two-night-only Floating Visual and Performance Art Event This Week on the Delaware River

June 3, 2019

As a Whitman at 200 partner, this weekend I got a little behind-the-scenes look at one of the rehearsals of RiverRoad, and y’all I can not recommend this more, if you’ve got the time to see it this week…

Creating a two-night-only floating visual and performance art event on the Delaware River, RiverRoad is a collaboration between artists Carolyn Healy and John JH Phillips with performer James Osby Gwathney Jr. A multimedia work based on Walt Whitman’s Poem of The Road, the piece takes place on a large industrial barge on the Delaware River and features video, sculpture, lighting, and electronic sound in an environment in which James performs the entire text of Whitman’s poem!

The audience boards the barge at Penn’s Landing and a tugboat guides it downriver and back during the performance. “The artists hope the experience of being afloat on an unusual vessel in the middle of the wide river under night clouds and stars creates both a sense of unease and exhilaration that resonates with the poem. Whitman frequently made the crossing from Camden to Philadelphia, especially to hear opera, one of his favorite art forms. The artists wish to create a unique tribute to Whitman that can be experienced both from the waterfront and by the audience on board the barge.”

While all the tickets are FREE, all of the reserved tickets have been taken. But, that leaves roughly 10-20 “first come, first serve” spots for those who line up at the start location before any show’s start time, so be sure to get there early if you want to see it! That start location is the South of the Ferry Dock at Penn’s Landing, 211 South Christopher Columbus Blvd Delaware avenue. And there are two performances each night on Tuesday and Thursday June 4 and 6, the first starting at 8pm and the second at 10pm. Learn more about RiverRoad here, and about Whitman at 200 here!

Here’s a little sneak preview from this weekend’s rehearsal:

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