a super wonderful horse-drawn theatre company

posted September 16, 2013

Rural Academy Theatre



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 newly formedRural Academy Theater have staged 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. “While most theater and communication systems at present promote high tech, expensive and therefore exclusive models, we will present a distinctly low tech, inexpensive, inclusive model,” said Noah Harrell, Gabriel’s brother and co-founder of the company. Of the project’s socially minded agenda and community volunteer/workshop opportunities, Noah adds, “We feel such a model empowers individuals and communities to speak for themselves, facilitating the discussion of local social justice issues and connects communities through socially minded art.”