New York Times bestselling author and famed “Peace Troubadour” James Twyman will travel the United States penniless, performing his new musical based on the life of St. Francis of Assisi on the way to off-Broadway.
He will make a stop in Sedona with his musical “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” as part of his U.S. Tour on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, presented by the Sedona International Film Festival.
James Twyman has always had a special affinity for St. Francis of Assisi. Now, Twyman will bring his stirring new musical on St. Francis “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” to Broadway in late February, and — with the beloved saint as his model — will travel a continent penniless, on foot and with whatever food, housing and further transportation that God will provide to get him there.
Along the way, Twyman will perform the one-man show as St. Francis in Portland, Santa Barbara, Phoenix, Sedona, Santa Fe, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia. Committed to the saint’s values of love for all and support for those in need, Twyman will feed the homeless and invite them to the performance for a night of physical and soul nourishment.
“That’s how Francis would have done it,” Twyman said. “His life was centered on serving humanity in simple, down to earth ways. If he was alive today he’d probably embrace things like social media, but he’d also travel with no money and no possessions. In my case, I’ll hitchhike, walk when I have to, and rely upon others for food and places to sleep.”
It’s part of Twyman’s effort to make St. Francis and his teachings relevant today. Often regarded as the patron saint of animals, pictured surrounded by birds, wolves, or an assortment of other forest creatures, St. Francis of Assisi, who lived eight hundred years ago in Italy, is depicted on statues that abound in gardens almost everywhere you look today. His values of inclusion, respect for all living beings and peaceful co-existence are a clarion call in a world so divided and dissonant.
“I’ve always been in love with St. Francis,” he said. “When I was eighteen I left home and entered the Franciscan order, but chose a secular path instead to become “The Peace Troubadour.”
That felt like a natural progression. Now, after finally taking vows, I’m actually getting to express myself as St. Francis himself — through this musical. I wrote all the songs as well as the dialogue, and it feels like stepping back in time. It’s actually the most fun I’ve ever had, and the chance to perform it in New York for two weeks feels amazing.”
“Brother Sun, Sister Moon” will grace the stage at The Church in the Village. The pre-show routine will be anything but usual for these Off-Broadway performances. Says Twyman: “We’ll have a team of people who’ll join me around the theater and we’ll be handing out free tickets to homeless men and women, inviting them to come as our guests.
Then before each show begins we’ll share a meal of soup and bread together, both the paid ticket holders as well as the guests. Once again, I want to get as close to how St. Francis would have done this as possible. He would have wanted people of every group to come together, not just those who can afford the ticket.”
This undertaking would seem like a radical endeavor to most people, but to James Twyman it’s just the latest in a long list of unconventional ventures.
In his role as “The Peace Troubadour,” known and revered internationally, he has performed his peace concert in such countries as Iraq, Bosnia, South Africa and Northern Ireland, often while wars and conflicts raged around him.
In 1998, he was invited to perform in Baghdad by Saddam Hussein, and several years ago gave a peace concert on a hill overlooking a village in Syria held by ISIS. On his show Real Time, Bill Maher called him “the idiot singer from Portland,” a label Twyman embraces, but this new project strikes even closer to his heart.
James Twyman, is also the NY Times bestselling author of 16 books including The Moses Code and Emissary of Light. He has also recorded more than 18 music albums including the Billboard chart bestseller I AM Wishes Fulfilled along with Dr. Wayne Dyer; as well as produced or directed seven feature films.
For more information on Twyman, and the Brother Son, Sister Moon Musical Tour stops and performances, visit: www.StFrancisMusical.com or JimmyTwyman.com.
Visit www.SedonaFilmFestival.org for tickets and performance information or call 928-282-1177. Both the Sedona International Film Festival Office and the Mary D. Fisher Theatre are located at 2030 W. SR 89A in West Sedona.