Secular Communion in the Coalfields: The Populist Aesthetic and Practice of Roadside Theater
Roadside Theater is a populist theater company. Refusing liberal elitism, activist vanguardism, and the authoritarian pseudo-populism of Donald Trump, Roadside creates original plays in grassroots partnerships that cross racial, political, and rural-urban lines. Roadside combines theater production, community organizing, and economic development to create the conditions for residents of the Appalachian coalfields and their neighbors across the country to confront exploitative power structures and divisive culture wars, tell their own stories, build and share power and wealth, and work together toward a future where "We Own What We Make."
This article first appeared in the Winter 2020 edition of TDR/The Drama Review, published by MIT Press.