A “Walking Play” Is Coming to Old Manse Next Month

It celebrates the outdoors and the natural world.

Old Manse photo provided by the Trustees

Next month, the Trustees are taking the theater out of the theater.

The group is bringing TigerLion Arts’ play Nature to the Old Manse, a historic property in Concord. But this is no ordinary play: Audience members will follow actors as they traverse the property, moving around while soaking in the rolling meadows, leafy trees, and arresting scenery that the play celebrates.

Nature tells the story of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau’s mutual fascination with nature, while simultaneously exploring humankind’s relationship to the outdoors through music and storytelling. The Old Manse is a perfect setting for the walking play, as Emerson lived and wrote there in the 19th century, even drafting his essay Nature from an upstairs bedroom. Thoreau visited frequently to discuss Transcendentalism and philosophy, and planted an heirloom vegetable garden outside that (after some replanting) still exists today.

Nature, the play, was cowritten and created by Emerson descendent Tyson Forbes and his wife, Markell Kiefer. (Forbes stars in the show as Emerson, while Kiefer directs.) The family-friendly production’s 11-show residency at the Old Manse, lasting from September 22 through October 1, marks its first run on the East Coast.

The Trustees are also planning complementary programming including discussions, a family theater workshop, and pre-show musical performances. Play attendees are encouraged to picnic during these concerts, and bring portable lawn chairs and blankets for use during stationary parts of the performance. Tickets cost $25 for non-Trustees adults ($15 for children), with slight discounts for Trustees members.

Find more information and purchase your tickets here.

$25, 9/22-10/1. The Old Manse, 269 Monument St., Concord, thetrustees.org.