Written by Katie Beck and Josy Jones
Directed by Josy Jones
A series of theatrical vignettes shaped as a tour trying to convince people to come to (and stay in) Akron. The play is 75% based on interviews of people from Akron's 24 neighborhoods and serves as a humorous (and sometimes serious), self-reflective look at where Akron came from, where it is now and where it plans to go all while giving a platform for the voices of its residents. Welcome to Akron, a place that many call home.
Where we toured:
Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at Summit StageFest
Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. at Art x Love Studio
Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at Minson Plaza
Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Signal Tree Fest
Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Innerbelt National Forest
Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Beech Street Trailhead
Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Firestone Park Community Center
Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Akron Art Museum
Friday, October 5, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Summit Metro Parks Big Bend
Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at Summit Metro Parks North Hawkins Area
Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Davenport Park
Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Reach Community Center
November 10, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Oriana House’s Community Based Correctional Facility (Men’s Facility)
November 16, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Summit Metro Parks Coventry Oaks
December 5, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Maplewood Assisted Living
December 12, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at Oriana House’s Community Based Correctional Facility (Women’s Facility)
Sunday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
A review by Wendy Duke
Posted on Facebook on July 22, 2018
I went on a theatrical tour of Akron today. It is new play called Rebranding the City: A Humanizing Tour of Akron. It took place in a cavernous abandoned bank -- now Mac Love's art playground on Main St. The cast wins the award for most diverse seen locally. They are a six person Vaudeville meets the 21st Century kind of troupe. They play multiple characters from different neighborhoods in Akron. They were very fun to watch! They taught us a song to sing throughout the show, which worked for the transitions very nicely.
There's a very clever neighborhood Dating Game Show with North Hill, Highland Square and Downtown as bachelors. I'd like to see Upper Merriman vs Summit Lake vs Sherbondy Hill. Or how about Wallhaven vs Cascade Valley vs Ellet? Bare bones staging so it can travel around town. You really must invite them to your neighborhood!
The play grew out of Mac's atplayakron project# which is creating collaborative art in all 24 designated Akron neighborhoods. As the atplay travelled the city, they collected dialogue which developed into the full spectrum of Akronites. They also used comments from online news stories, which was particularly spot on. Any news story about the city spending gobs of money on some new project, the first responses are invariably from the nay-sayers. How do they get there first every time? And then a few city apologists show up, followed by complaints about potholes. Some people expect the city to immediately repave every street in Akron all at once.
The deeper truth is that there are neighborhoods within neighborhoods. Each block carved out of the city's streets has a unique character, and within each block are sub-neighborhoods. You can start at the beginning of one block in a sparkling cultural mecca pass into quiet old apartment buildings and by the end of the block find yourself on a corner with shuttered buildings and trash-stewn devil strips. How we relate to each other where we live, work and play can brighten or darken our neighborhoods.
I do so like theatre with a purpose -- well done to all involved!