Commissioned by the National Performance Network
In October 2008, General Motors announced it would shutter a 75 year-old stamping plant on 36th street in Wyoming, Michigan. Over 1,500 people, including the former Wyoming mayor, would be out of work, displaced, or forcibly retired. The plant, the largest taxpayer in the city, would be razed to the ground.
Co-Written with Austin Bunn (NY Times Magazine) and developed with Working Group Theatre RUST follows a young playwright on a voyage of discovery – and re-discovery – as he attempts to portray those affected by the close of the plant — the “GM gypsies” on their 8th transfer, tool and die third shifters watching their skills become obsolete, the corporate “ax men” who select which plants for closure. Along the way, this Ivy-League academic begins to understand the experience of job loss, the history of the “Rust Belt”, and just what happens to the people who make things…when we stop making things.
“RUST shines… This show highlights determination, loyalty, sacrifice and the everyday heroism of working men and women”– Grand Rapids Press
“This is one of the most powerful pieces of art to debut in our region in a very long time”
– G Sync/Rapid Growth Media
“touching but never trite…they’ve taken their information and crafted excellence.”
– Michigan Live
“In spite of the artificial nature of theater, RUST offers a more accurate picture of the reality of those working in the waning American manufacturing industry.” -The Rapidian
“A creative and moving piece of documentary theater”— Iowa Theatre
RUST excerpted in the NY Times Sunday Magazine.
RUST featured on the Huffington Post.
CBS News covers “RUST”
Auto Workers Respond
The Touring Schedule
Actors Theatre of Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids, MI
Three Oaks, MI
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Iowa City, IA
Cherry Hill, MI
Lake Arts Center