‘VOICES: Schrock and Schrock’
Pulitzer Prize-nominated novelist and acclaimed songstress team up for father/daughter performance 

By David A. Sargent
Special to the Sun Journal
BRUNSWICK — Kate Schrock is a respected singer-songwriter with five albums to her credit. Her father, Gladden Schrock, is a Pulitzer-nominated novelist/playwright/actor/essayist.
Friday, June 12, they will come together for a first-time collaboration on area stages in a series of unique performances called “VOICES: Schrock and Schrock.”
Kate and Gladden Schrock will share the stage for what’s described as a penetrating, antiphonal performance of songs and selected readings. It’s a rich mix designed to engage the heart, mind and funny bone.
Gladden’s novel, “Letters from Alf,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He was a founding member of the Longwharf Theater in New Haven, Conn., and was the first playwright-in-residence at the Yale School of Drama. He also founded the theater department at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. He had a supporting role in the 2002 Independent Spirit award-winning film “Daydream Believer.”
Kate, whose work has been compared to singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, has opened for top performers, including Stephen Stills, Taj Mahal and Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones.
She has modeled in New York and Paris, and she went on a humanitarian trip to Ecuador, working for Heifer International, a group founded by her grandfather.
She traveled to Jamaica not long ago to gather material and to collaborate with musicians of Bob Marley’s Wailers on her most recent album, “Invocation.”
Gladden’s description of the song-spoken word production emphasizes “the aesthetic contract.” Its aim is to persuade the audience to be moved and reflective, he said.
While pointing out that “thoughtfulness is entertainment,” he noted that “we have a similar sense of humor.” He said the impromptu exchanges between father and daughter will draw plenty of smiles and chuckles from the audience.
Because of his exceptional life in theater, literature, education and side ventures into herring fishing and barn building, and her considerable globe-trotting as a fashion model and later as a performer, they never worked together.
Gladden said 95 percent of his material is from his published works. Kate will draw from an extensive repertoire of her original songs, most of which have been on five acclaimed independent albums.
They will perform on a simple split stage, Kate to one side at her keyboards and Gladden at the other behind a small lectern. That enables them to bounce the focus and pace of the production back and forth, improvising to some extent as they go along.
“She doesn’t know ahead of time what song the moment will bring forth,” Gladden said.
“It’s not shallow, not cheap,” he said of his daughter’s music. “It’s penetrating common-sense wisdom.”
“Kate has been a self-starter ever since she was a kid,”  Gladden said, adding it has been easy working with her on the show because “she is efficient and smart as hell.”
Kate said hearing the spoken words of her father’s writing “has tuned my ears into the poetry of the songwriting. I become the audience, absorbing and being imprinted” as the performance evolves.
Father and daughter emphasized that every show they do together will be different. They have a wealth of material, and depending on the development of the moods and mental connections, the pieces they present will be somewhat unpredictable.
In spite of what she calls “systemic restlessness,“ Kate has put down roots in New England in recent years, in contrast to a life of travel for both personal and professional purposes.
“There’s a kind of invisible bungee cord that snaps you back to Maine,” she said, noting she has recently encountered “a soulful hunger to be back home.”
Gladden recently retired from the faculty of Bennington College in Vermont and prefers to stay mostly at his coastal Maine home, despite requests from noted theater professionals to become part of other acting ventures.
VOICES: Schrock and Schrock” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, June 12, at the Frontier Cafe Cinema and Gallery, 14 Maine St. (Fort Andross Mill). Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 day of show. For more information, call 725-5222.
Other performances will be booked in Maine and New England, and there’s a possibility that Schrock and Schrock may take their show to a New York City theater in the coming winter months.


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