Embracing a rich cultural heritage, the city of Chester and Widener University collaborate to construct an artistic bridge with the voices of the people as its foundation in an exploration of the boundaries that separate university from community and how art can heal those divisions.
The Artist Warehouse is a multidisciplinary arts collaborative in Chester led by Devon Walls. Partnering with Widener University’s Lone Brick Theater (directed by Rob Reutter), Walls and Reutter have developed a powerful performance piece, A Bridge Apart, that candidly explores university-community or “town-gown” relations.
The content of the performance was generated and/or inspired by community members across the campus and the city. Stories were gathered during performative walking tours that took place over the past year: community leaders, neighborhood residents, Widener faculty, staff, and students were all invited to take on the role of walking tour guides and were asked to take actor/writer/director Devon Walls on a walking tour of what they perceived to be the boundaries between the campus and the community.
Transcripts of those walking stories form the basis of the performance. Those walking stories have been combined with spoken word, photography, actor interviews and improvisations, and musical performances of Chester-based artists on the theme of boundaries and bridges.