Theatre Horizon Receives Grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for an Original Social Practice Work, Our Norristown

Set to be presented in the Fall of 2022, Our Norristown uses Thornton Wilder’s classic play as a provocation and structural map to reconsider the nostalgic myth of homogenous small-town America, and revise our understanding of community in the 2020s

Theatre Horizon, a professional theatre company located in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is thrilled to announce that they are the recipient of a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to present a new piece of social practice theatre called Our Norristown.  Helmed by Artistic Director Nell Bang-Jensen and Playwright Michael John Garcés, OUR NORRISTOWN will be a three-act play with original music by Philly based artist collective, Ill Doots, in collaboration with Norristown, PA residents engaged throughout the development process.

“We are thrilled to receive support from the Center for this exciting project,” said Bang-Jensen.  “Building on the practices and aesthetics of The Public Theater’s Public Works program, and the 30-year legacy of Cornerstone Theatre Company, Our Norristown will offer an original performance that is both rooted in community and commensurate with the high bar of artistic rigor set by its lead artists and Theatre Horizon.”

What emerges when members of a wildly diverse city tell a collective story? Our Norristown is a social practice theater work that uses Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town as a provocation and structural map to reconsider the nostalgic myth of homogenous small-town America, and revise our understanding of community in the 2020s. The project will culminate in free, large-scale performances during the fall of 2022, featuring community members alongside a cast of professional performers, activating a highly visible, centrally located parking lot in Downtown Norristown as a public commons.

Specific details on Our Norristown, including the full creative team, casting, and dates, will be announced in 2021.  For more information on Theatre Horizon, visit theatrehorizon.org.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge-sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia.  The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative, and catalytic work that showcases the region’s cultural vitality and enhances public life, and engages in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders.

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