Tag Archives: The Revue

RUST Review in The Grand Rapids Press

It was a fantastic opening night for RUST!  And the word is getting out – don’t miss this show!  RUST explores events that took place here in our hometown and takes a look at how the auto industry has effected the people in our community.

In honor of REVUE Magazine’s Beer Issue, publisher Brian Edwards recommended beer pairings for each of this weekend’s Best Bets: Grand Haven’s Art Walk, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids has RUST, Prospecto Musical Showcase & Sonic Experience, Boiling Pot Festival, and Mid-Life Crisis benefit for Kid’s Food Basket.  Check out the Best Bets recommendations on Fox 17.

The Grand Rapids Press writer Sue Merrell was at Actors’ for opening night – she gives RUST at Actors’ Theatre 3 stars out of 4!

‘Rust’ shines: Play tells story of GM plant closure in Wyoming
Published: Friday, September 30, 2011, 7:22 AM
By Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press

Photo credit: Katie Greene | The Grand Rapids Press Dramatic threads: Relationships built around factory life help 'Rust' show how a workplace also becomes a community.

GRAND RAPIDS — The rhythmic pounding of a stamping machine could be heard in the background as a nearly full house of about 200 people gathered Thursday at Spectrum Theater for the debut performance of “Rust,” an ethnographic play about the 2008 closing of the General Motors plant in Wyoming.

The sound continued through the first scene or two, then it stopped. You couldn’t help but feel the void, like a giant heartbeat silenced.

Created by Grand Valley State University writing professor Austin Bunn and the Working Group Theatre, the play isn’t overly sad or maudlin, and it even has a few light moments.

But there is a towering sense of frustration and loss that runs through the comments of workers, even retired corporate executives, that Bunn interviewed.

Bunn portrays himself as this sort of bungling storyteller, who had an idealized vision of what the story should be and slowly discovered a different story, a resilience and transformation he hadn’t expected.

The remaining eight members of the ensemble portray various voices from workers to family and community members. Bernice Houseward gives a great portrayal of a history teacher who credits the auto industry with creating the middle class and transforming family life by giving people more independence and options.


Be sure and read the rest of the review, here on www.mlive.com. To get more information on RUST and to order your tickets online, go to the Actors’ Theatre website at www.atgr.org.

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Actors’ Theatre in Revue Magazine

Reminder:  Tonight is Final Dress for RUST.  Tickets are just $5.  If you’re on a budget and want to see a great piece of theatre, you can’t miss this deal! Show starts at 8:00PM.

Want to know more about RUST?  Check out this great article in Revue:

Actors’ Theatre Debuts Rust
Written by Charlsie Dewey, Garrett Dennert

RustThis month, Actors’ Theatre will debut a brand new work, Rust, written by Playwright and Grand Valley State University Professor Austin Bunn.

Bunn said his play is a piece of documentary theatre in the style of The Laramie Project, and came out of several interviews he conducted with former workers following the closing of the General Motors Stamping Plant in Wyoming. Bunn said he was interested in answering the question, “What happens to the people that make things when we stop making things?”

“One of the general themes is the wages of loyalty,” Bunn said. “We talk about the wages of war, but the wages of loyalty is really strong here, because many of these people are second or third generation [workers] at GM. One fellow we interviewed, he’s the third generation to work in that very plant. His grandfather started working there when it opened.”

Bunn says the play also explores the movement from a culture that makes things and works with their hands to a culture removed from physical work.

“I think we are very disconnected from the idea of work in America,” Bunn said. “We have moved from a culture where we were really interested in how things got made to a culture where we are very interested in how things get bought.”


Check out the complete article on www.revuewm.com.  RUST opens Thursday, Sept. 29th and runs 9/29 – Oct. 1 and Oct. 6 – 8.  All performances are at 8:00PM.  Get more information at www.atgr.org

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Renegade Festival in Lansing Michigan

Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Check out the Renegade Festival on August 18-20th in Lansing. The Renegade Theatre Festival will produce close to 30 plays this weekend giving you a chance to check out all kinds of interesting works being performed by local community and professional actors.   Revue has a great article about the festival, which you can read in full on their site.  Here’s an excerpt:

Renegade Festival Promotes Unconventional Theatre

Written by Nicole Rico

() Creator of the event Chad Badgero is also co-director of Renegade along with Melissa Kaplan. He said he started the festival because he felt it’s what the Lansing festival scene was missing.

“I have been involved in Lansing theatre since I was in fifth grade, and have been attending since I could walk, so the theatre is deeply ingrained in me and my connection to Lansing,” Badgero said. “In 2005, I looked around and thought, ‘We have so many amazing festivals in Lansing, why don’t we have a theatre festival?’ So I just decided to start one.”
Renegade Theatre Festival

Kaplan said the festival is all about trying something different and giving locals an opportunity to take risks. Even children get a chance to shine. On Saturday afternoon the Renegade Kids portion of the festival will feature the Mid-Michigan Family Theatre and All-Of-Us Express Children’s Theatre.

“This is a way to give theatre companies and independent producers a chance to experiment,” Kaplan said. “One of the things I love about Renegade is that it is a little rough around the edges. These are not fully produced, polished productions that have a lot of scenery and costumes and that sort of thing, it’s a little rawer.”

(Read the complete article here on the Revue website.)

For more information on performance dates and times, check out the Renegade Festival’s website at www.renegadetheatrefestival.org

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Revue Magazine writes about “Lines”

Just in case you missed it, here is another article that was posted about our season opening show:

Edye Evans Hyde in a scene from "Lines" at Actors' Theatre through Oct. 9th (photo: Eryn Kovach)

This article on Lines: the Lived Experience of Race was recently in Revue Magazine.  Here’s an excerpt and a photo from the production:

Fault Lines
Written by Mitchell Terpstra
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 21:31

Myth #1: You can live anywhere you please in Grand Rapids.

Myth #2: All Grand Rapids schools are created equal.

Myth #3: The justice system is always just.

Professor, director and playwright Stephanie Sandberg blows a doleful horn with her newest theatre production, Lines: The Lived Experience of Race. Lines reminds us that racial division didn’t die with the Civil Rights Movement of 1964; it didn’t die with the inauguration of our first biracial president; and it’s alive and particularly well-entrenched in the geographical, educational and religious make-up of Grand Rapids.

“The title Lines came from part of an interview, which you’ll hear in the monologue that opens the play,” Sandberg said. “You look around [Grand Rapids] and see very clear divisions — in politics, in neighborhoods, in schooling. The different types of lines structure the play. There are geographical lines, then psychological, then class lines, and even blood lines.” (…read the complete article here, on Revue’s website)

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Extra Performance Added for “Lines: The Lived Experience of Race!”

In case you haven’t heard – Lines has been having Sold Out houses!

After an incredible turnout and outstanding reviews for the world premiere of Lines: The Lived Experience of Race, Actors’ Theatre has added an additional performance! The  additional matinee performance is scheduled for 2PM on Saturday, October 9th to ensure that everyone can see this powerful, poignant, and engaging original ethnographic drama.

Don’t miss your opportunity to experience this must-see theatrical event of the season, based on over 150 interviews of people from our Grand Rapids community! Here’s what others are saying about the production:

Michael Travis and other members of the ensemble in a scene from "Lines: The Lived Experience of Race" (photo: Eryn Kovach)

A fresh, intensely disarming discussion of racial problems in Grand Rapids, with comments from names you’ll recognize, maps of places you know and pictures of sites you’ve been. It’s guaranteed to spark conversation…
Grand Rapids Press

Lines reminds us that racial division didn’t die with the Civil Rights Movement of 1964; it didn’t die with the inauguration of our first biracial president…
REVUE Magazine

The performance is more than just numbers, it’s passion…
The Rapidian

Click the button below to purchase your tickets online or call the Box Office at (616) 234-3946.

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Filed under In The News, Plays and Productions