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Walking in St. Francis’ Shoes
NY Times best-selling author and famed “Peace Troubadour” James Twyman will travel the U.S. penniless performing his new musical based on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. The tour culminates in an off-Broadway finale serving the homeless.
James Twyman has always had an affinity for St. Francis of Assisi. The New York Times best-selling author, film producer, and internationally famed “Peace Troubadour” recently took orders as a Franciscan Hermit and was inspired to write his most recent book, “Giovanni and the Camino of St. Francis.”
Now, he will bring his stirring new musical on the life of St. Francis, “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” off-Broadway in special shows serving the homeless from Feb. 20 to March 1, 2020,. The two-week finale at The Church in the Village culminates a series of shows he will perform across the US in the New Year.
Inhabiting the character of Francis, James will travel the continent penniless, trusting in the goodness and generosity of people he meets to provide transportation, housing, and sustenance. Along the way, he’ll perform the one-man show at stops including Portland, Santa Barbara, Phoenix, Sedona, Santa Fe, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. Joining James on his journey is Bill Free, a New Hampshire non-dual teacher.
Committed to the saint’s values of love for all and support for those in need, James and his volunteers will feed the homeless and invite them to the performance for a night of physical and soul nourishment. It’s the first off-Broadway musical to invite the homeless as its principal guests, embodying St. Francis’ mission to serve the poor and marginalized.
“I 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 to the show as our guests,” James says. “Then before each performance begins we’ll share a meal of soup and bread together, both the paid ticket holders as well as the guests.
“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.”
It’s part of his effort to make the saint’s teachings relevant today, more than 800 years after Francis gave up a life of wealth and privilege to serve the poor. In his travels across America, James will show how St. Francis’ approach to listening and service can help heal a divided nation.
Often regarded as the patron saint of animals, pictured surrounded by birds, wolves, or other forest creatures, St. Francis is depicted on statues that abound in gardens almost everywhere you look today. For most people, he’s little more than the “birdbath saint.” But 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,” James says. “When I was 18 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.”
In his role as “The Peace Troubadour,” James has performed his peace concert in countries including Bosnia, Iraq, Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Syria, often while wars and conflicts raged around him. On his show “Real Time,” Bill Maher called him "the idiot singer from Portland,” a label James embraces, but this new project strikes even closer to his heart.
“Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” evolved from James’ latest book, “Giovanni and the Camino of St. Francis,” a novel that explores the saint’s life. Inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s one-man Broadway show, he created a musical in which Francis shares stories from his life, and what he learned along the way.
James Twyman is the author of 16 books, including the New York Times best-seller “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, and has produced or directed seven feature films.
Follow his continental sojourn, which begins on Jan. 3 in Portland, OR, on Facebook, Instagram and through the hashtag #StFrancisMusicalTour. For more information visit: www.StFrancisMusical.com or www.JimmyTwyman.com.
Download James' One Pager.
PRESS RELEASE 12/27/19 Walking in St. Francis' Shoes