This Is Reading, a dynamic site-specific multimedia installation blending live performance 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 challenges, and triumphs of people living in and around Reading, Pa., This is Reading will weave their individual stories into one cohesive and celebratory compelling tale of the city.The project is inspired by the relationship Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage forged with the people of Reading while researching her critically-acclaimed Broadway-bound play SWEAT, directed by Kate Whoriskey.
This Is Reading is a transmedia performance arts installation, created by an award-winning team of artists, headed by two-time Pulizter prize winning and Tony-nominated playwright Lynn Nottage, opens on July 14, in Reading, PA, for two weekends at Franklin Street Station in Downtown Reading
The team of designers and producers includes: filmmaker Tony Gerber, director Kate Whoriskey, designer Deb O, projection designer Jeff Sugg, lighting designer Amith Chandrashaker, sound designer Nick Kourtides, and producers Jane M. Saks, Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Allison Bressi and Santo D. Marabella.
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 – 7:30pm and 9:30pm – on July 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23. The performances are ticketed, but tickets are free. Details are available on the installation webpage: www.ThisIsReadingPA.com.
The installation has garnered tremendous national and local community support. The Wyomissing Foundation, Columbia University, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Venturous Theater Fund are supporting This Is Reading. In addition, partners and sponsors to date from the Reading-Berks County, PA community include: City of Reading, County of Berks, Downtown Improvement District, East Penn Manufacturing, Fox Theaters, GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Land Displays, Inc., Reading Eagle Company, Reading Movies 11/IMAX, Sands & Company Real Estate and South Central Transit Authority.