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Austin Bunn, Playwright of RUST, Interviewed on WYCE

Catalyst Radio: Grand Rapids writer Austin Bunn talks about the making of his documentary play, “Rust,” and his personal discoveries during the process.

WYCE by WYCE Radio 88.1 FM (WYCE) on Friday Jan 13th, 2012 11:30am in LOCAL LIFE in collaboration with Linda Gellasch and The Rapidian

Click here to go to The Rapidian website to listen to the entire interview, or download it to listen later.


Local writer Austin Bunn spends time on Catalyst Radio this week to talk about his documentary project “Rust.”

Playwright Austin Bunn (left), with actors Paul Walsh, Chris Nye, Rena Dam and Ella Swift, on the set of "Rust" /Photo credit: Eryn Kovach-Sprenger

When Bunn moved to Grand Rapids to become Assistant Professor of Writing at Grand Valley State University, he was shocked as a newcomer to Michigan over how hard the state has been hit by the shrinking of the manufacturing industry.  The closing of a local GM plant, eliminating 1,500 jobs, prompted Bunn to undertake the documentary project, which began its first run as a play at Actors’ Theatre this past fall.

Bunn used the medium of a documentary play to actually bring to life the voices of those hit hardest by the auto industry’s demise — the workers who made a living working in the factories. “Rust” draws from actual interviews Bunn conducted with workers, following the shut-down of that local plant.

Some of those interviews also appear in a New York Times Magazine article published last week, entitled “End of The Line.”

Bunn also talks about having been a journalist, and how the news industry, as well, is suffering a diminishing and changing role.


Music featured this week on Catalyst Radio is from local troubador Drew Nelson, from his 2009 disc Dusty Road To Beulah Land, with the song “Stranger.”

Nelson’s upcoming album Tilt-A-Whirl is scheduled for release next month.

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Filed under In The News, Plays and Productions