New Play Creation From its inception, Roadside understood that the stories it told and the way it told them was different from mainstream theater. The company developed a unique theatrical aesthetic and fresh content based on what its company members grew up with – storytelling, ballad singing, oral histories, and church.
BETSY! tells the story of a Bronx jazz singer forced to confront her twin Spanish Caribbean and Scotch-Irish roots. Her dilemma stirs up the ghosts of six generations of American women, and musical currents spanning four continents.
Red Fox/Second Hangin' is the true story of M.B. "Doc" Taylor, "the Red Fox" -- a red-headed, red-bearded, popular preacher, doctor, mystic, and U.S. marshall -- and the coming of the first coal boom to Central Appalachia in the 1890's.
Bringing different, even conflicting, points of view together to address domestic violence.
Community Cultural Development Roadside’s community cultural development work has been shaped by the company’s artistic residencies in communities struggling with issues of unequal opportunity, racism, incarceration, violence against women, and suicide.
Roadside Theater works with Letcher County, Kentucky residents to create an original, youth-led play with music that addresses the future of their County, and will be performed throughout the County by an intergenerational cast.
Since its founding in 1975, Roadside Theater has maintained a local program. The company’s original Appalachian plays and community cultural development methodology were, and continue to be, developed with people in southwest Virginia and east Kentucky, a...
The American Festival Project used a careful process that encouraged communities to untangle the complex webs that oppressed and divided them, to imagine change, and to promote creative expression as a means of fighting injustice in all forms.
Local folk work together through low cost media to define and address the barriers that prevent their communities from enjoying such things as access to health care, a safe environment, new technology, economic development, and more.
Through a virtual and in-person exchange and collaboration, Zuni and Appalachian youth will get to know each other by creating and exchanging media productions that communicate elements of their places and cultures, their wishes and dreams, their fears and...
Teaching in Colleges and Communities Roadside's higher education Community Cultural Development programs depend on a balance of community engagement; training in artistic craft; and scholarship focused on the field’s history, animating ideas, and economic and policy environments.
Though there has been a rich history in the U.S. of attempts to create a grassroots theater that is open to and reflective of the concerns of ordinary people, much of that history has been lost or obscured.
Performing Our Future will demonstrate how the assets of local culture enacted through theater can enable communities to imagine, construct, and own their civic and economic future. Our claim is that culture and artistic expression are fundamental to the...
What happens when William and Mary College students and local residents explore Williamsburg's 1950's Civil Rights era history through the stories of local residents?
Advocacy Because Roadside Theater is one of the few rural professional theaters in the United States and because its inspiration comes from a region with a history of economic disadvantage, advocacy has always been a part of its work.
Appalshop and the Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project at Lafayette College form a partnership and create a strategic investment plan that simultaneously supports the economic development of Appalshop and its Appalachian region.