This week, Rush Hour audiences joined acclaimed clarinetist Larry Combs and the finalists of the Chicago Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Competition in an exercise on interpretation in Impromptu Interplay: Improvisations on Poetry. The reciters read the works of a variety of noted poets including Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, W.H. Auden, and Pablo Neruda while Combs improvised a spontaneous musical accompaniment to the readings.

We would like to express our appreciation to the Poetry Foundation for making this unique collaboration possible and inviting Rush Hour audiences to experience an innovative approach to hearing classic poetry.


The performers sit with Stephen Young of the Poetry Foundation and Artistic Director Deborah Sobol in the recording of Rush Hour Conversations.


Tasty refreshments and Poetry Out Loud magnets await the audience members’ arrival


Artistic Director Deborah Sobol and reciter Ariela Rotenberg smile after the performance


Performers Ariela Rotenberg, Heidy Alvarado, Larry Combs, Iyeokan Ativie, Kimmy Steele, and Mark Schmidt gather after the performance

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