"Steel Hammer" is a musical theatre journey inspired by Julia Wolfe's love for the legends and music of Appalachia and Anne Bogart's boundless fascination with the human impulse to tell stories. This blockbuster collaboration combines the music and oral traditions of the region, with text from four remarkable African-American playwrights, the lyrics culled from more than 200 versions of the John Henry ballad. Based on hearsay, recollection, and tall tales, "Steel Hammer" explores the subject of human vs. machine and the cost of hard labor on body and soul. Music merges with the spoken word, woven together by movement, dance, and percussion. The Bang on a Can All-Stars and SITI Company take on wooden bones, mountain dulcimer, step dancing, and more to evoke the rich instrumental colors of Appalachia in this quintessential American legend. Wolfe was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her oratorio, "Anthracite Fields."