Order for Guest
Your shopping cart is empty.

Julia Wolfe - SITI Company

Bang on a Can All-Stars

Steel Hammer

Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 7:30 PM
At the Moss Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
In the Street and Davis Performance Hall's Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre

$25-$55, $10 students with ID and children 18 and under

Directed by Anne Bogart
Original text by Kia Corthron, Will Power, Carl Hancock Rux, and Regina Taylor
Music performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars
Play performed and created by SITI Company
Scenic and costume design by James Schuette
Lighting design by Brian Scott
Sound design by Andrew Cotton and Christian Frederickson
Choreography by Barney O'Hanlon

Steel Hammer is a musical theatre journey inspired by Julia Wolfe's love for the legends and music of Appalachia and Anne Bogart's boundless fascination with the human impulse to tell stories. This blockbuster collaboration combines the music and oral traditions of the region, with text from four remarkable African-American playwrights, the lyrics culled from more than 200 versions of the John Henry ballad. Based on hearsay, recollection, and tall tales, Steel Hammer explores the subject of human vs. machine and the cost of hard labor on body and soul. Music merges with the spoken word, woven together by movement, dance, and percussion. The Bang on a Can All-Stars and SITI Company take on wooden bones, mountain dulcimer, step dancing, and more to evoke the rich instrumental colors of Appalachia in this quintessential American legend.

Wolfe was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her oratorio, Anthracite Fields.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 6:30 PM
American Vernaculars: The Legend of John Henry
Gena E. Chandler-Smith, PhD, associate professor, Department of English, Virginia Tech
Free; admission first-come, first-served, but to guarantee your seat, register through the box office

Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Following the performance
Q&A with the Steel Hammer Artists
Free; admission first-come, first-served, but to guarantee your seat, register through the box office


Advance program notes are provided online for our patrons who like to read about performances ahead of time. Printed programs will be provided to patrons at the performances. Programs are subject to change. View advance program notes here.


Visit our Explorer's Guide,  a resource to equip you for your journey through our 2015-16 season. Dig deeper into Julia Wolfe - SITI Company and Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steel Hammer.


Click here to view specials from our advertisers.

Related Videos:

  • Theatre, Contemporary | Fresh

Photo by Michael Brosilow


Promotional Code

  • If you have a promotion, please enter the Access Code here:

Subscribe Now

Become a season subscriber to receive a discount on our regular ticket prices.


Julia Wolfe - SITI Company and Bang on a Can All-Stars,  Steel Hammer

Something Fresh

In the mood for a bit of adventure, and want to try something completely new and different?


All performances take place in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, in the Street and Davis Performance Hall, unless otherwise noted.