Clear Sky, Pure Light—A Bicentennial Performance

Thank you to all who joined us for this show!  It was wonderful to have a full house for both performances.

Christopher Childs, as Henry David Thoreau, in The Walden Woods Project’s Higginson House Living Room

Clear Sky, Pure Light: An Evening with Henry David Thoreau opened in Thoreau’s native Concord in July of 1975 — three months into the nation’s Bicentennial celebration. The response to the two-act dramatic portrait was immediate and enthusiastic: Concord critic Rebecca Ruggles acclaimed it as “a thoughtful and dignified production” that seemed less a performance than “an intimate talk.” It was, she concluded, “as if Thoreau had come back for a day to tell us a few of the things he thought most important.”

Drawn from Walden, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, “Civil Disobedience,” and lesser-known passages in Thoreau’s Journal and his personal correspondence, the one-man, two-act show presents Thoreau as a multifaceted individualist. It captures him in light moments as well as serious ones, and is revelatory of the private as well as the public man.

These performances of Clear Sky, Pure Light for The Walden Woods Project, during the Thoreau Bicentennial, marked the first time in just over twenty years that Christopher Childs has presented the play in its entirety and with full costume and makeup.

Acclaim for Clear Sky, Pure Light:

I went to see Clear Sky, Pure Light with a great deal of skepticism. How could anyone recreate satisfactorily for me the Henry Thoreau that I had devoted my lifetime to studying? But within ten minutes of the curtain raising, I had been won over. Here was the Thoreau I knew — standing and talking before me. It was a great evening.

— Walter Harding, author of The Days of Henry Thoreau and Thoreau, Man of Concord

Clear Sky, Pure Light achieves the difficult and remarkable goal of wakening from pages of silent print the living Henry Thoreau…A poetic and glowing portrayal that in the span of a short evening reveals why Thoreau’s star is of first magnitude.

—Eugene Walker, past President of The Thoreau Society

To read a full history of Clear Sky, Pure Light, click here.
To read more about Christopher Childs—author, actor and activist—click here.