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THIS IS READING – Revisited Brings Award Winners Back to Celebrate Community Development

by ReadingFilm FEST

Oct 06, 2022

In 2017, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage and Emmy® award winning filmmaker Tony Gerber created This Is Reading, a multi-media art installation at the once-abandoned Franklin Street Train Station in Reading, PA.  Dance, theater, music, and film filled the station with excitement, energy and people – more than 3400 people.  The three-weekend run drew its audience from all parts of the city and beyond.  They came separately, they enjoyed together!

Five years later, it is clear that This Is Reading helped spawn new life and new activity throughout our community.  The most obvious impact is that the abandoned train station is now home to a thriving microbrewery and restaurant.  And, the work Lynn did to create This Is Reading gave rise to the birth of her second Pulitzer prize-winning play, SWEAT, through which the story of Reading’s past (and many other communities like it) was shared across our country, not just our county.

According to Santo Marabella, former ReadingFilm Commissioner and co-producer of This is Reading, “There is a more subtle, albeit deeper impact – optimism and hopefulness are palpably present.  And, I believe that This is Reading helped inspire a Reading Renaissance – a re-birth, in the truest sense.  Because Lynn, through This Is Reading, embraced our community as an old friend who saw who we are and what we could be – we are better for it.”

Wanting to commemorate this auspicious anniversary, ReadingFilmFEST is proud to present, THIS IS READING – Revisited during this year’s festival, featuring a screening of the THIS IS READING documentary, an exciting film version of the performance from 2017, followed by a conversation with Lynn Nottage, Tony Gerber and Santo Marabella on October 30th at the Miller Center for the Arts. Our Closing Night Celebration at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts will feature some of the original dance performers from This is Reading, plus performances by WH Dance Academy and Barrio Alegria.

  • Sunday, October 30, 3:00pm: Screening of THIS IS READING, an exciting film version of the performance from 2017; Miller Center for the Arts at RACC; followed by conversation with Lynn Nottage and Tony Gerber and Santo; $20 ticket; free to FEST VIP pass holders
  • Sunday, October 30, 7pm: Closing Night Celebration following the award ceremony and reception, featuring original performers from This Is Reading; GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Room 428; free and open to the public.

If you missed the original, you’ll definitely want to see Revisited; and if you experienced the original, come back for an encore!

The Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust Presents the 8th Annual ReadingFilmFEST, “The Filmmakers Film Festival”, happening October 27-30 at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Eunice and Albert Boscov Theatre and Reading Movies 11 & IMAX® Theater. This year’s festival includes over 65 independent and student films, LUNAFEST® (a traveling festival featuring films by and about women supported by Reading AAUW), a presentation of Rocky Horror Picture Show with a live shadow-cast, special programs at Alvernia and Penn State Berks, and the return of Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony® nominee Lynn Nottage and Emmy® winner Tony Gerber with a screening of the documentary THIS IS READING, and a discussion of the impact of the arts on community development.

Tickets and information are available at

The Miller Center for the Arts at RACC is located at 4 N. 2nd Street, Reading, PA 19601

Goggleworks Center for the Arts is located at 201 Washington Street, Reading, PA 19601

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