In October 2014, 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center celebrated Dylan Thomas’s centenary by turning Kaufmann Concert Hall into a studio for a reading of Under Milk Wood broadcast live on BBC Radio Wales. The Poetry Center presented the premiere of this “play for voices,” with Thomas himself leading the cast, on May 14, 1953 (listen here). Starting in 2015, May 14 came to be known as Dylan Day, an annual celebration of the poet’s life and work.
Michael Sheen, who directed the centenary reading and led a cast of all Welsh actors (Kate Burton, Karl Johnson, Mark Lewis Jones, Francine Morgan and Matthew Aubrey), said “it’s a real honor and an absolute thrill to be able to perform Under Milk Wood in this very special year and on the stage that it first found its voice. The live radio broadcast is an opportunity to celebrate him and his work in both New York—a city that became so important to Dylan—and, at the same time, in Wales, his inspiration and home.”
View a sample of archival materials from 92Y’s Dylan Thomas in America—A Centennial Exhibition.
To learn much more about Dylan Thomas's life and work, check out Discover Dylan Thomas.
The cast of Under Milk Wood at 92Y, 2014 (Credit: Nancy Crampton)
The cast of Under Milk Wood at 92Y, 1953 (Credit: Rollie McKenna)