Public Event

Kevin Purcell featured in “Prairie Voices” at The Varsity

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Date(s) - 03/10/2019
7:30 pm

The Varsity Center


Actor and director Kevin Purcell of Cobden presents ‘Prairie Voices,’ featuring the work of Illinois poets and storytellers Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters and Vachel Lindsay.


Kevin Purcell featured in “Prairie Voices” at The Varsity


CARBONDALE – “To contemplate the prairie is to fathom time. To guess at infinite space. To find the earth spirit in a dreaming mood … in Illinois the prairies are a soul … a muse of distance eyeing the solitude …” The words are those of Illinois author and poet Edgar Lee Masters.

The work of Masters, along with that of Illinois poets and storytellers Carl Sandburg and Vachel Lindsay, is featured in a one-man show called “Prairie Voices,” a collection of poems and songs that celebrate the beauty of the Illinois prairie and its people.

Actor and director Kevin Purcell will perform the piece at The Varsity on Sunday, March 10. Special guest performer Lemay Henderson will join Purcell. Henderson is a folk singer and physician who works in remote wilderness areas in Canada. She and Purcell will sing several songs that celebrate the prairie landscape.

Twelve years ago, Purcell compiled these songs and poems and has been performing “Prairie Voices” around the state ever since, including shows in Springfield at the Old State Capitol. This will be his first performance of the work in Southern Illinois. Purcell has been seen locally in David Rush’s plays “Lenny Dreaming” and “To My Dear Wife,” as well as “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”

The one-hour performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10. Doors and the Varsity Bar open at 7. There is no charge for the performance, but donations will be appreciated, in support of programs like this at the nonprofit performance venue.

The Varsity is downtown Carbondale at 418 S. Illinois Ave. To keep up with all upcoming events, go to or