Thursday, July 13, 2017

"This is Reading" Inspired by Lynn Nottage's "Sweat" Begins July 14 in Reading, PA

Franklin Railroad Station

Lynn Nottage

This is Reading
Multimedia Performance Installation
Announces Extension Due to Popular Demand

Project Inspired by Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize Winning Play Sweat
Begins July 14 in Reading, PA

Due to popular demand This is Reading has extended to a third weekend, and will now run July 14-16, July 21-23, and July 28-30.

Officially opening on July 22, This Is Reading, is an ambitious site-specific multimedia installation blending live performance, film and visual media, will occupy the historic Franklin Street Railroad Station in Downtown Reading, re-animating the long vacant building. Using as it’s foundation, the hardships, challenges and triumphs of people living in and around Reading, Pa., This is Reading will weave their individual stories into one cohesive and compelling tale of the city.  The project is inspired by the relationship MacArthur award winning playwright Lynn Nottage, forged with the people of Reading, while researching her Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway-bound play Sweat directed by Kate Whoriskey.

The awarding winning creative team includes Pulitzer prize winning Playwright Lynn Nottage, Filmmaker Tony Gerber, Director Kate Whoriskey, Choreographer Rennie Harris and DJ, Kashaka, Designer Deb O, Projection designer Jeff Sugg, lighting designer Smith Chandrashaker, Sound designer&nbsnbsp;Nick Kourtides, producers Santo D. Marabella and Blake Ashman Kipervaser. Actors include Russell G. Jones, Michael Puzzo and Vanessa Aspillaga and in addition the project has engaged local dancers and actors.

“This is Reading will provide the opportunity to bring the restored, but vacant, Reading Railroad Station back to life, by filling it with creative arts that will help illuminate the lives of people living in the Greater Reading area.  But more importantly it will set the stage for the community to hold new and meaningful conversations with each other about our community’s future.” 
Pat Giles, former Executive Vice President, United Way of Berks County and current Foundation Associate, The Wyomissing Foundation

Produced by Labyrinth Theater Company, Market Road Films and Project & and developed in partnership with Reading Film/Pennsylvania's Americana Region, and local artists, the installation will approach the historic Franklin Street Railroad Station as a collaborator, placing its unique history and architecture in dialogue with stories collected in Reading, PA. This is Reading, will use live performance, film and projection mapping to illuminate the Reading Railroad Station, animating surfaces inside and outside with the stories of the city’s residents. Working closely with members of the Reading community, the artists aim to capture the voice of a city that is grappling with how to reclaim a narrative that has been fractured along racial and economic lines, with renewed energy and spirit to carry it to a level of greater prosperity and hope.

The installation will include two performances each night at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm on July 14-16, 21- 23, 28-30 and have expanded exhibition hours. The performances are a ticketed event, but tickets are free. Details are available on the installation webpage:

This is Reading is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust, The Ford Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of Tides Foundation, Project &, Columbia University, Stavros Niarchos Foundation and The Howard Gilman Foundation.

Project supporters include Lawrence Cowart, Teresa Tsai, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Venturous Theater Fund, Wyomissing Foundation.

For further information on This is Reading contact Santo Marabella at or Allison Bressi -

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