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Appalachian Artists Collective Explores The American Dream And Suburbia

Reported by: Send eMail Kennie Bass
Videographer: Mike Magee
Reported: Jul. 11, 2014 12:16 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 11, 2014 12:27 PM EDT
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St. Albans , Kanawha County , West Virginia

How many of us really know our neighbors? How often do we actually sit down to spend time and talk with them?

Those are some of the central questions explored by the play "Detroit." The 2013 Obie Award winner as Best New Play of the Year, "Detroit" focuses on two couples as they get together for a backyard barbecue.

Although they live next door to one another, their lives are on very different paths.

The conversation spins and evolves into a study of chasing the American dream and opening yourself up to new things.

"'Detroit' is a play about the distance that we've put between ourselves and our communities," Mariah Plante (Sharon) said. "You know, you don't go and talk to your neighbors anymore. You don't even know who lives in the floor above you or the house beside you. This play is about recognizing that distance and then striving to bring each other closer together, looking for human connection that we all want but sometimes forget we need."

"I like to call it a dark comedy, if you will," Adam Bryan (Ben) said. "You will definitely laugh but it will definitely make you think. If you don't leave the theater asking questions about today's society, you fell asleep or you weren't paying attention."

The Appalachian Artists Collective is hosting the show. The organization says its mission is to introduce a new generation of actors to the stage and produce shows that may otherwise go unseen in the area.

"Detroit" is edgy and original, with serious subject matter counterbalanced by laughs and surprises unveiled when you take a good, honest look at yourself.

"Ben is a, he's sort of a stiff, conservative guy," Bryan said. "He just lost his job at the bank and he's trying to deal with how to redefine his life now that he's not defined by his job anymore."

"Sharon is a recovering alcoholic, drug user, party girl," Plante said. "You name it, she did it somewhere. And she's just now getting to experience the feeling of having a community, of having neighbors around her. And she really craves that human intimacy that she's just been cut off from for so long."

The Appalachian Artists Collective presents "Detroit" by Lisa D'Amour

Directed by Leah Turley

July 10, 11 and 12 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets:
$15 Adults
$10 Students/Seniors
Alban Arts and Conference Center
65 Olde Main Street
St. Albans, W.Va.

CAST
Adam Bryan-Ben
Marlette Carter-Mary
Tyler Eldridge-Kenny
Mariah Plante-Sharon
Greg Morris-Frank



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