The inception of the Choteau, Montana--Appalachian exchange and partnership was an American Festival Project residency in which the Montana Performing Arts League collaborated with artist Celeste Miller to create a play from its local stories. The Performing Arts League subsequently partnered with Roadside Theater for a 1995-1996 cultural exchange in which each company wrote and performed a play for its own community and for the other's community.

The Performing Arts League worked with their local volunteer community theater, the Prairie Mountain Players, to create The Coming Home, The Reunion. Using community oral histories and original music, the play portrays an Independence Day celebration and family reunion where busy Montana farmers and ranchers have a day off to spin yarns and catch up on family gossip.

Roadside Theater worked with ensemble playwright Ron Short's cousins, The Mullins Family Singers (three generations of Appalachian family harmony singers), to create New Ground Revival, which dramatizes the conflict between the Appalachian tradition, that holds the land as sacred, and modern pressures to abandon that tradition for economic gain. 

Theresa Holden of Holden Arts and Associates produced the project. It was documented by folklorist Blanton Owen and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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“About: Choteau--Whitesburg Exchange and Play Creation.” October 21, 2014.

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