Walden, the Ballad of Thoreau by Michael Johnathon
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Walden on TV
Walden is heading to Public Television nationwide, and you can be part of it!
A five camera, high definition TV production of the play as a public TV special event for Earth Day 2009. Walden will be produced in HIGH DEF in front of a theater audience at the historic 1,000 seat Lexington Opera House in Lexington, Kentucky on Thursday Nov. 20, 2008. The production will be edited for public television affiliates nationwide and presented as both an Earth Day Special Event and a Spring 2009 public TV fund-drive broadcast special.

The Walden TV Special will start with a biographical segment on Thoreau, taped on the shores of Walden Pond. Followed by Michael Johnathon’s performance of the song, “Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau”, the main content of the special will be the four character performance of the final two days Henry David Thoreau spent in his cabin beforeleaving Walden Pond, as it happens on the stage of the grand theater.

Walden on Radio
Phase Two:
The audio sound track of the live production will be sent to 800 NPR and community radio stationsworldwide as an updated 2009 Earth Day Radio Special.

Walden in Schools
Phase Three:
The DVD and lesson plan package will be made available to schools, colleges and libraries nationwide for use in classroom settings. Why this added feature? Because hundreds of teachers requested the play in schools where performing the play was not practical. Music and arts are being decimated in school budgets, and hundreds ofschools wanted to perform the play as a theater event, but simply did not have the means.

The DVD of the performance, plus the lesson plan written by the Earth Day Network in Washington DC is a perfect way for students to be reintroduced to the passion and brilliant writing of Henry David Thoreau. It helps celebrate the meaning of Earth Day, it involves young people in the literary arts, and encourages conversation about the environment as it relates to their own home towns.

Walden MP3 & MP4 Podcast
Phase Four:
Don’t underestimate the power or the size of the internet. Our biggest audience for the project will happen after the TV and Radio Earth Day Special when the production becomes available as a FREE public download on millions of iPods worldwide.

Walden is Evergreen
Phase Five: This will be the repeat of the TV Special on public television stations nationwide in 2010, 2011 and beyond as well as continued use and distribution of the audio version to NPRand Community stations as an evergreen Earth Day radio special. The DVD and lesson plans can be used year after year, as the production and lessons of the Walden play are as evergreen as the forests Thoreau hoped to save.

Walden Production Schedule - 2008
Mon. Nov 17 Production set up at the Opera House
Tues. Nov 18 Dry run performance, filmed
Wed. Nov 19 12N     Matinee performance for HS and College students, filmed
8:00     VIP invitation only performance for Friends of Walden, filmed
9:30     Post performance VIP champagne party with actors, etc...
Thur. Nov 20 8PM     Public performance of Walden, filmed

The four filmed performances of Walden will then be edited to make one pristine presentation for the Walden Public Television Earth Day Special. There will be two versions of the edit:
              a) A 58-minute Walden Earth Day Special
              b) A second edit of three 15 minute segments for use during the spring fund drives of PBS stations nationwide.

Friends of Walden - We Need Your Help!

We want to the send the educational DVD packages of the Walden TV performance free of charge to as many schools as possible. We also need to fullfill the underwriting obligations to produce the public television TV Special. For that, we are reaching out for help and support of the Friends of Walden.

Friends of Walden Donor Levels
Make a tax deductable donation (this project is administrated by a 501-c-3 foundation) to support the TV production of Walden but also guarantee that schools will get the Walden DVD and lesson plans FREE OF CHARGE. Call 859-255-5700 M-F 10-5pm EST to make your support by phone. Checks can be made payable to: Friends of Walden (WoodSongs, Inc), PO Box 200, Lexington, KY 40588 and we will return a tax receipt for your records.

If you are an Individual or Group that wants to make a donation that guarantees copies of Walden DVD & lesson plans to schools in your area, click here.

If you are a Corporation or Foundation that wants to be a presenting underwriter of the 2009 Walden TV, Radio & Online School distribution project, click here.


If you have questions call 859-255-5700 M-F 10am - 5pm EST and ask for Anna Dickens or Greg Jackson.

Checks can be made payable to: Friends of Walden (WoodSongs, Inc), PO Box 200, Lexington, KY 40588 and we will return a tax receipt for your records.

Call the Opera House box office: 859-233-3535


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