The Re-United States Theatre Project (RUST) is a civic arts-engagement initiative that consists of a series of urban-rural exchange residencies culminating in the performance of an original play created and performed by an ensemble of 15 non-professional performers.
RUST begins with four story circle sessions —two in Philadelphia and two in a rural Pennsylvania town. Participants are invited to share their personal stories of how they came to live in their community and what their vision is for its future. The goal of these story circles is to gather text and themes for deeper intellectual exploration and artistic development; to facilitate a positive experience sharing fears and desires that help participants feel vulnerable and confident; to find collaborators interested in developing these stories into a full-length play; and to practice deep listening, respect, and honest communication among disparate groups of people.
From these story circles we’ll identify up to 15 participants who will join us for a two-day workshop in Philadelphia. Over these two days, participants will learn how to develop their personal vision for their community into a shared vision for our collection of communities, as expressed through the performance that they create together as an ensemble. The weekend will culminate in a 20 minute public performance that will serve as the basis for future development.