Berks

Creator of 'Sweat' back in Reading for art installation

'You are going to get a little bit of everything'

Creator of 'Sweat' back in Reading...

READING, Pa. - The old Franklin Street railroad station in Reading was once a passage in and out of the city. In a few shorts weeks, it will be transformed into art.

"This is a multi-media piece," said Choreographer Rennie Harris, "so there's a video installation that's going to be on the walls, on the ceiling. There are actors and there's dancers, so you are going to get a little bit of everything."

It will be an art installation like you've never seen before. It's called "This is Reading," and it's all the brainchild of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage.

"We're going to tell the story of Reading in six different movements, beginning with Reading was, Reading now, Reading soars, Reading speaks," she said. 

Nottage is most famously known for her Broadway play "Sweat."   The production is based on interviews she did in the Reading area. It's set in 2008, when the economy crashed and jobs were hard to come by.

It's an authentically Reading story about race, working class problems, and somehow perfectly pinpoints the state of the nation, all at a local bar.

"I thought that we'd go up in a small theater in Oregon, where we began, and that would be that. I didn't think that we would sort of traipse across the country and end up on Broadway," she said.

The installation isn't just about Reading. It actually features people who live here

"It's their story. You know what I mean? So even the text that they're hearing comes from interviews from the locals," said Harris.

The installation will go up July 14 and continue every weekend for three weeks. It's free, but you have to reserve your tickets in advance.


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