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Rodney DeCroo Performs Poetry at Vancouver Fringe Festival


Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 4:22pm

Rodney DeCroo, the highly-acclaimed singer-songwriter and author of Allegheny, BC, is moving his poetry onto the stage at The Cultch (1895 Venables St.) for a 10-day run during the Vancouver Fringe Festival (September 5-15). The Vancouver-based musician has teamed up with veteran theatre director Jane Heyman (who recently directed Three Sisters at The Cultch)— a teacher from DeCroo’s days at acting school (Studio 58) in the ‘90s— to make transform Allegheny, BC into an act of transformative theatre.

Allegheny, BC, will be playing at The Cultch at the following times:

  • Thursday, Sept 5 - 5:00 pm
  • Friday, Sept 6 - 10:30 pm
  • Saturday, Sept 7 - 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, Sept 8 - 1:00 pm
  • Tuesday, Sept 10 - 8:30 pm
  • Wednesday, Sept 11 - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday, Sept 12 - 10:30 pm
  • Friday, Sept 13 - 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, Sept 14 - 8:30 pm
  • Sunday, Sept 15 - 6:30

This is the final chapter in a trinity of works that began in 2012 with the release of DeCroo’s album, Allegheny.

After five widely acclaimed releases as a no-nonsense singer-songwriter, Allegheny was a perpendicular move for DeCroo; a spoken word record drenched in electric atmosphere that returned the artist to his first love, poetry, while transporting the rest of us to a childhood as grimy as the corrupt Pennsylvanian river of the title. Yet, despite the stories of a blighted childhood in a small coal town just outside industrial Pittsburgh, Allegheny transcended to a defiant beauty that resonated with both critics and audiences. Allegheny was included in the year end top 10 of not one but two senior critics at the Georgia Straight and collected high praise from print and online publications such as The Vancouver Sun, The Province, Exclaim Magazine, Art Threat, The Tyee, Rabble and many others.

In short order, DeCroo followed this feat with another, publishing a haunting collection of 42 poems through Nightwood Editions called Allegheny, BC which focused on both his childhood in Pennsylvaniaand his early adult years in BC.

In September 2012—collaborating with contrabassist-composer Mark Haney—DeCroo expanded and launched Allegheny, BC with a hybrid of poems, songs, and monologues at Vancouver’s Little Mountain Gallery. Haney and DeCroo next took the project across the prairies, work-shopping Allegheny, BC in clubs, galleries, bookstores and even a basement in Winnipeg. Along the way, it was met with the same acclaim and stunned silences — touching everyone from punks, old cowboys, literary and theatre types, and everyone in between.