A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

Rural Academy Theater

Horse-pulled Theater, Bicycle-powered Cinema, & Live Orchestra at Earthaven!

In horse-pulled wagons stocked with a bicycle-powered silent cinema, an Appalachian-balkan-brass-klezmer-dixieland-string ensemble, kinetic sculpture and their signature low-tech theater appliances, the Rural Academy Theater stages their innovative performances in the town greens, theaters, college campuses, and pastures of Western North Carolina.

“By not relying on gasoline powered propulsion or being dependent upon electricity and the typical expensive gadgetry associated with professional theater, we will be traveling and performing at a much more human pace, one that will allow for a more thorough integration into the communities and lives we visit,” said Gabriel Harrell, the theater’s co-founder.

Central to the theater’s mission is to celebrate and call attention to the rural, in opposition to the global urbanization of our culture, economy, food, media, education and art. 

The 2013 tour officially began on September 19 on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and made many stops before and after the trip by horses, wagons, and bicycles to Earthaven on October 15.

The eager and supportive Earthaven crowd spread out on blankets under the stars for a chilly evening performance following our weekly Tuesday-night potluck. The wagon theater is small and required the crowd to huddle in close for a view of the stage. It brought to mind rural villages receiving traveling bards and wandering minstrels in days (maybe not so) long-gone.

Thank you Rural Academy Theater for honoring rural life, horse-drawn travel, and good-old-fashioned entertainment. We loved having you at Earthaven!

All photos courtesy of the Rural Academy Theater.

cinema, horse, performance, rural, theater, tour

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