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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Actors rehearse for "Ride On," a play about changes in South Fayetteville.

On Saturday, Fayetteville's Artist's Laboratory Theatre will present "Ride On: a play about transit + housing." The play is the first part of a three-part series called "The Good Person of Fayetteville," which is being written by the theater company in collaboration with community members and playwright Adrienne Dawes.

ALT has been working on the research-intensive collaboration for more than a year.


‘Ride On: a play about transit + housing’

WHEN — 7 p.m. Saturday

WHERE — The Artist’s Laboratory Theatre, 1030 S. College Ave., Fayetteville

COST — Suggested donation of $10

INFO — 439-6046

"The project is called the Southside Civic Lab, and it's supported by the Mid-American Arts Alliance Artistic Innovations grant, as well as the Walton Family Foundation and Walmart ," says company founder Erika Wilhite. "It's a complex project, has so many facets and intersects in so many different ways. We're inviting the community to help us research topics that are in the play and calling the people that sign up to help 'Neighborhood Ambassadors'. We have them do things like take experimental bus rides and interview people with specific questions."

Wilhite says the project focuses on the south side of Fayetteville and investigates issues dealing with housing and job insecurity, what happens when a community undergoes radical changes and access and use of public transit.

"We've been interviewing people since 2016," says Wilhite. "The script and characters are being developed based on people we meet. Some of the scenes from the play are verbatim dialogue from situations we've been exposed to. We're entrenched with South Fayetteville in a variety of ways: We're learning how the area is developing, attending city council meetings and planning meetings and we're holding little meetings with themed conversations."

Dawes says she's hopeful that the project will bring positive change in the area.

"We're talking about homelessness in a city expanding and how that expansion can sometimes be positive but can also have negative effects on people whose situations are different than ours," she says. "There's a disconnect. A theatrical experience can help people listen and learn, and, as artists, that's something we can help with. Art can move faster than even policy can."

-- Lara Hightower

NAN What's Up on 04/06/2018

Print Headline: Theater Reflects Changes in South Fayetteville


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