In the 51st (dream) state, vanguard poet Sekou Sundiata examines what it means to be an American in the 21st-century. The work contemplates America's imperial power, its guiding mythologies, and the estrangement between its civic ideals and its civic practice. It raises increasingly complex questions about the state of the union and the state of its citizens' souls. A multimedia cycle of songs, poems, and monologues -- supported by projected still and moving images -- the 51st (dream) state features powerful lyrics and poetry by Sundiata and music composed by Graham Haynes and a host of artists.
The show is performed by Sundiata along with vocalists Ronnell Bey, La Tanya Hall, Bora Yoon (who also plays violin), and Samita Sinha, and by a musical ensemble featuring Chris Eddleton (drums), Calvin Jones (bass), Adam Klipple (keyboards and computer), Bill White (guitar), and Graham Haynes (cornet).