Actor John Slade channels the boundless spirit of Walt Whitman in new one-man show!


— Wallace Baine, Santa Cruz Sentinel

At first blush, John's music is the distinctive innovation in the portrayal of an historical figure.

But the secret magic of Whitman Sings is John's strength as an actor. His ease with Walt's character, his sensitive engagement with his audience, and his simple magnetism as a performer are together disarming, inviting, and in the end very moving. It is a joy to be in his presence.

— Alex Roe, Artistic Director, Metropolitan Playhouse, New York City

John had our audience mesmerized and enchanted from the moment he walked onstage.

Part education, part tent-revival… our audience was ON ITS FEET with a rousing standing ovation.

— Patrick Schweiss, Director Mary D. Fisher Theatre, Sedona

I could attend this show many more times! Setting Whitman’s poetry to song and rap-beats is so incredibly effective and comes across as fresh and new each time it’s performed. And you and Laurie could not have been easier to work with.

— Jon Meyer, Artistic Director, Prescott Center for the Arts



Ojai Quarterly (Spring 2015) – Uncle Walt’s Ghost

In a post-play discussion, John asked modestly if we thought the show would be good for school audiences. [I answered,] ‘Yes! They need it! Children will be better people – more tolerant, compassionate, kind, and more capable of thinking for themselves, if they know Walt. But that’s not enough. You should do this for Congress!’ I added. And then in every church!’


— Frank Dwyer, USC School of Dramatic Arts

A magnificent endeavor, with one hell of a performer that can be as playful as he can be deep.


— Emilio D. Miler, 2015 Grammy® winning Composer, Argentina

Remarkably bold, hip, and immediate. Beautiful work, highly recommended.

— Terry Patten, Integral Life

A mind-blowing album. I gasped, I laughed, I grooved.


— Lorraine Feather, 4-time Grammy® nominated Lyricist/Jazz Singer

John Slade has shared a uniquely creative tribute to this much-loved poet, capturing his wit and wisdom with style, humor, and true artistry. I'm sure Mr. Whitman would be impressed!

— Michael Diamond, Music and Media Editor, Awareness Magazine

The only person more thrilled than our audience was last night with Whitman Sings! was Walt Whitman himself.


John Slade channels the blood, spirit, bones and power of Whitman! You rarely see better theatre and acting; he makes Whitman's powerful words rise like Lazarus from the page, reborn, bursting with life, and gleaming with light.


Critically, John illuminates why Walt is so relevant right now. Whitman Sings! should be a mandatory civics class for every artist, scientist, political candidate and citizen.

— Steven A. Duchrow, Director of Performing Arts, Elgin Community College


- ©2016 John Slade - #whitmansings -