About the Grant

$25,000 to support The Civil War Project (MAP 2011), a new theater piece written by Alison Cary.

About the Project

Touchstone Theatre’s The Civil War Project (working title) written by Alison Cary of Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a new community-based dramatic work premiering in April 2012, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. The production was drawn from a wealth of resources including biographies of individuals who lived during those years and are buried in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. and uses site-specific performances, workshops, and lectures—along with a documentary, souvenir book, and accompanying website. The Civil War Project will explore themes of race, class, gender, and ethnicity, and will study the effects the country’s first “total war” had on this heterogeneous Pennsylvanian city. The purpose of the work is to better understand and appreciate who we are and what unites us, with the aim of telling a story for all people regarding war and peace, Union and States Rights, and slavery and freedom.

The project is a collaboration with Lehigh University’s Southside Initiative and History Department, the Historic Bethlehem Partnership, the Moravian College Theatre Company, the City of Bethlehem, and the South Bethlehem Historical Society.

There are ever-increasing forces to create a dramatic work informed by Bethlehem’s not-so-distant past. The Civil War is not entirely over, not by a long shot. The issues we fought over then still frame much of what challenges us today as Americans; it is our goal to connect the audience with stories of our ancestors, as well as the stories of sacrifice and struggle from Americans who found themselves in a war-torn nation many years ago.

Related Websites

Touchstone Theatre


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