“Why don’t people want to come live on the Southside?”

logo59th in a series of posts on Touchstone Theatrelogo

Unfortunately, Gadfly doesn’t have it on video, but there is a moment while Festival UnBound’s Jennie Gilrain (director of “The Secret”) is doing moderator duty after the “Hidden Seed” play in which she bounds, bounces, twirls, flies from one side of the stage to the other.

Her body dances.

Her mind does too.

Her opening anecdote here will fix your attention on something rather profound.

What do you think about her question?

It’s about more than just our Southside.

  • “Where do you live?”
  • “I’m used to being asked where are you from.”
  • “Deeply ingrained in our American psyche is this idea that where you live defines your status.”
  • “People keep trying to move farther and farther away from each other.”
  • “What is it about moving away from the center of town?
  • “Why do we keep wanting more space, bigger, bigger yards?”
  • “Why do we have to keep building houses in the fields, as John Gorka says.” ***
  • “Why don’t people want to come live on the Southside?”
  • “Why don’t people want to come back and be crowded and close together?”
  • “That’s a real question and not a judgment.”

*** Jennie refers to Gorka’s “Houses in the Fields,” performed here recently and here in original video. Gorka attended Moravian and started his folk singing career at Godfrey Daniels. “Houses” is said to be about his family home on Freemansburg Avenue.

Festival UnBound
Closed but never forgotten

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