Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Illinois’ Is Being Turned Into A New Musical, Despite His Previous Disdain For Them

In a surprising turn of events, Sufjan Stevens‘ 2005 conceptual album, Illinois, is heading to the stage. The musical adaptation, which includes Stevens’ tunes and a script from Justin Peck and Jackie Sibblies Drury, will premiere this summer at Bard College’s Fisher Center in New York, in honor of the school’s 20th-anniversary celebrations.

“Featuring new arrangements of the entire album for a live band and three voices — ranging in style from DIY folk and indie rock to marching band and ambient electronics — Illinois will lead us on a mighty journey through the American heartland, from campfire storytelling to the edges of the cosmos,” the synopsis for the musical said, according to NME.

“Tony Award-winner Justin Peck transforms the album into a full-length theatrical performance with a cast of virtuosic dancers, singers, and musicians in a narrative crafted with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury,” it adds.

Interestingly enough, Stevens posted on social media back in 2021 that he wasn’t a fan of musicals. “Please stop singing and dancing,” he wrote on Tumblr. As for other news, he’s set to appear on The National’s upcoming album, with a collaboration titled “Once Upon A Poolside.”

Performances of the Illinois-inspired musical will run from June 23 to July 2. More information is available here.