Rustbelt: Staged Reading
Sciame Auditorium (Room 107), Spitzer School of Architecture
Six actors will perform a staged reading of Rustbelt: 1984. A City in Crisis, a new play by Damon Arrington MLA ’16.
Rustbelt is a dark comedy set in 1984 that centers around an underground dance show in the heart of the Rustbelt. A community is inspired to an uprising. This twisted Erin Brockovich tale of environmental injustice challenges authority and questions the safety of our drinking water.
MLA travel studio research in 2015 to Detroit and subsequent thesis investigations in Chemical Valley, West Virginia (both Rustbelt ecologies), have propelled this community-driven research. Dramatic writing was conjured from a study of artifacts, mesmerizing clips of a dance show in Detroit called The Scene prompted a deeper study into systemic racism that transcended directly from the structures and policy placed on marginal, red lined neighborhoods.
The process of writing plays can be tedious and lengthy. Arrington’s writing has spanned more than one year. A Soho Rep workshop allowed him to hear the play and begin to incorporate media elements including vintage footage into the piece. This reading will be the first time an audience has heard the play, an exciting next step for the production.