Center Stage Series: Luther College to present 'First Person: Seeing America'

The history of our country's extraordinary people will be brought to life through words, live music and iconic images in the Luther College Center Stage Series performance of "First Person: Seeing America." Actor Rob Nagle and actress Lily Knight will narrate a series of photographs from the metropolitan Museum of Art set to the backdrop of original music performed by Ensemble Galilei.  

"First Person" begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall on the Luther campus. Tickets are available through the Luther Box Office by calling (563) 387-1357 or online at           

Cost is $24 for adults, $22 for seniors age 65 and up and $15 for youth ages 4-18. The Box Office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9-10:30 a.m. and 11a.m.-3 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays
9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Ensemble Galilei's evocative melodies and rhythms provide the soundtrack for this performance. Traditional renaissance music from Scotland, Ireland and Sweden features Michael Praetorius and new compositions performed on fiddle, harp, viola da gamba, percussion, banjo, whistles and oboe.

Music winds around the spoken word as images are projected on a large screen to more fully tell a story. "Images from the Met's incredible collection of photographs are recorded indelibly on the American imagination," says Neal Conan, award-winning journalist and current host of NPR's "Talk of the Nation."

When the words of great American writers and poets, and the brilliant music of Ensemble Galilei are added, audiences will find new meanings and associations with these images. These great works of art animate the stories of, among others, Frederick Douglass and Calamity Jane, while poems by Jim Harrison and Lucille Clifton add unexpected intensity and resonance. "First Person: Seeing America" gives audiences new ways to imagine not only great works of art, but the stories of the land and people of a country shaped by unending change.

The performance is a poignant history of America that creates a cohesive, rich, multidimensional story of perseverance through some of America's most trying times, such as the Dust Bowl, Civil War, Great Depression and more.

Nagle has appeared in several films including "The Soloist," "Life As We Know It" and "Fun With Dick and Jane." His television credits include appearances on "Mad Men," "Meet My Mom," "The Middleman," "Everwood" and more.

Knight appears on stage in Los Angeles and New York. Her film work includes roles in "Changeling," "Around the Bend" and "The Assassination of Richard Nixon." She has appeared on more than 50 television shows including, "Big Love," "Saving Grace," "The Mentalist," "Boston Legal" and "Weeds."  

Ensemble Galilei was founded in 1990 and has been redefining the boundaries of chamber music ever since. The group emphasizes collaborative relationships and explores innovative combinations of images, words and music.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art dates back to 1866 in Paris, France, when a group of Americans came together to create a national institution and gallery of art to bring art and art education to the American people. In April of 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was incorporated and opened to the public in the Dodworth Building on Fifth Avenue in New York, where it currently resides.

'First Person : Seeing America'