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Playback Theatre Performance Opens Adams Unity Coalition’s Art of Change Festival

(Sept, 2010) Gettysburg, PA, September 10, 2010 – The Adams Unity Coalition invites the public to attend a festival of events entitled The Art of Change: Discovering the Rhythms of Justice. Through playback theater, concerts, poetry, and dialogue, visiting artists will challenge the Adams County community to examine personal biases and unjust systems. Coalition member Babatunde Lea, a world-renowned percussionist and founder of the Educultural Foundation, states, "The juxtaposition of dialogue with music and theater will open our minds, bodies, and spirits, enabling us to fully engage in the challenging work of social justice." All festival events are free of charge.

The first of the festival’s three events will be a performance by the River Crossing Playback Theatre troupe entitled Stories from the Margins and Mainstream Come to Life to be held on Saturday, September 25, at 7:00 pm in the Kline Theatre at Gettysburg College. In the improvisational art form of playback theater, players elicit stories from the audience and enact them on stage. As the stories come alive, audience and players become entwined in a community dialogue that is both deeply personal and powerfully universal, creating a new story that recognizes and celebrates both the differences and the common ground in our communities.

The Adams Unity Coalition coordinated the community response to the hate group rallies on the Gettysburg Battlefield in 2006 and 2010. The festival launches a new phase of the Coalition’s work in promoting collaboration among its eleven member organizations committed to building an inclusive community. Rosie Bolen from the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice explains, "Through a series of monthly events utilizing different art forms, we aim to build momentum and understanding to establish a strong foundation for the reinvigorated Adams Unity Coalition."

Additional festival events will be held in October and November. Transgender percussionist Koko Jones will host a Concert and Conversation on Wednesday, October 20, at 7:00 pm in the Kline Theatre at Gettysburg College. On November 11, nationally acclaimed poet, actor, and playwright Ariel Luckey will dig deep into our past and raise critical questions for our present and future in his performance Free Land: Race and Land in America. This event will be held at 11:30 am in the College Union Ballroom at Gettysburg College.

The Adams Unity Coalition welcomes new member organizations. Additional information on current membership, events, and activities is available at

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