Hummon Tackles Musical Drama About ‘Warrior’ Jim Thorpe

Posted in News on September 16, 2001

BMI Award-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon -- currently in the running for CMA's Song of the Year prize -- is set to present his latest venture, a musical drama about Jim Thorpe. The Actors Bridge Ensemble will open its 2001-2002 season with the world premiere of Warrior: An American Tragedy, an exploration of the life and times of legendary athlete Jim Thorpe, on Thursday, September 27, in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Ford Theater. Performances are scheduled for September 27-29 and October 5-7. Showtime is 8 p.m.

Becca Stevens, Marcus Hummon, Martie Seidel and BMI's David Preston at the 2000 BMI Country Awards

The 90-minute production again pairs playwright/composer Hummon with Actors Bridge artistic director/BMI writer Bill Feehely (American Duet, Francis of Guernica). Warrior is the first theatrical production in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's intimate 213-seat Ford Theater.

"Born To Fly" writers Marcus Hummon, Sara Evans and Darrell Scott

The Jim Thorpe role will be performed by acclaimed singer/songwriter Mark Luna, who is making his theatrical debut.

James Francis Thorpe (1887-1953) was a Native American member of Oklahoma's Sac and Fox tribe who won both the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics, a feat unmatched before or since. Widely regarded as the greatest athlete of the 20th Century, he was the first American to play professional baseball and football in the same season, and served as the first president of the National Football League.

Thorpe is enshrined in the National Indian Hall of Fame, the Helms Professional Football Hall of Fame, the Professional Football Hall of Fame, the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. In 1999, the United States Congress officially designated Thorpe "America's Athlete of the Century."

Thorpe's private life, however, was marred by personal demons and professional setbacks. In 1913, the Amateur Athletic Union, having learned that he had played semiprofessional baseball, voided Thorpe's amateur status and disallowed his Olympic victories. His amateur status and gold medals were restored posthumously in 1982. In Warrior, Thorpe's story is presented as a Greek Tragedy narrated by Whiskey, the personification of Thorpe's Achilles' heel, alcoholism.

Warrior is the newest creation of multi-talented singer/songwriter/playwright Marcus Hummon. The Careers-BMG Music Publishing writer, who is best known for penning chart-toppers like the Grammy-winning "Ready to Run" and "Cowboy, Take Me Away", both co-written with Dixie Chick Martie Siedel, is currently nominated for Song of the Year by the Country Music Association for "Born to Fly", which he co-wrote with Sara Evans and Darrell Scott.

Hummon's additional No. 1 hits include Wynonna's recording of "Only Love" and Tim McGraw's "One Of These Days." Hummon's own recordings include the critically-respected All In Good Time on Columbia and The Sound Of One Fan Clapping and Looking For the Child on Velvet Armadillo Records. A published poet, he also wrote the lyrics for the PBS children's cartoon series Book of Virtues.

In addition to Luna, the Warrior cast includes Jim Bagby, Milton Bagby, Pam Boylan, Alain Browning, Tim Orr Fudge, Jacqueline Graziano, Nathan Lacey, Tara Lacey, Jeff Lewis, Michael Prentice, Lisa Marie Smith, Becca Stevens, and Dean Hall.

With Feehely as director, Warrior is produced by Tracy Gershon (publisher with High Seas Music), with Hummon and BMI composer Andrea Zonn as co-musical directors.

Tickets are $20 and are on sale now at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or by calling (615) 416-2096.


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