Our recent, multi-voiced and multi-media blog series is now archived for you to read, comment, and share in conjunction with the Off-Broadway run of BETSY! —the Appalachian-Puerto Rican Musical— starting April 9 at PRTT! Thanks to our partners at Roadside Theater, the good people at Café Onda, HowlRound, and Imagining America, and the BETSY! Circle of Scholars for making it happen! The frayed ends of American pluralism are also meeting points for a brighter future!

 Beyond Cliché: Dramatizing Our American Identity

“How can we produce works of art that probe beyond clichés into the frayed ends of American pluralism? What kind of love-making work does it take to engender an artistic product that aspires to tell the story of us today—skeletons out of the closet and all?”

Artists and scholars from across the country published new writing and multimedia about these questions articulated by noted folklorist and anthropologist Maribel Álvarez.

to read the entire series
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Here’s a list of the different blogs on Betsy!

Beyond Cliché: Dramatizing Our American Identity
Jamie Haft and Arnaldo J. López review the 21-year artistic collaboration between Pregones Theater and Roadside Theater.

Constructing a Bridge Culture
Ben Fink considers the Pregones-Roadside collaboration through the lens of community organizing.

Embodying the Universal in the Particular: An Actor’s Experience
Elise Santora shares her experience portraying Betsy’s women ancestors and the poetry with which she is now embracing her own story.

Stories, Human Flourishing, and Spaces of Abundance
Stephani Etheridge Woodson explores why companies like Roadside and Pregones are underutilized resources, what they do for stories, and how they develop communities of abundance.

I Can Hear You: Cross-Cultural Music and Complicated American Identities
Jonathan Bradshaw looks at how the Appalachian banjo and Puerto Rican cuatro come together for the work of cultural engagement. Accompanying videos created by Zhivko Illeieff feature BETSY! composers Ron Short and Desmar Guevara.

Empathy in the Gaps: Encountering Disagreement in Intercultural Performance
Lindsay Cummings reexamines the definition of empathy, arguing that BETSY! successfully acknowledges gaps and attempts to understand them.

Message from the Appalachian Mountains
Caridad De La Luz aka La Bruja talks about her personal journey becoming Betsy, and the inspiration she discovered in the mountains of Virginia.

Drama and the Shattering of Myths
Maribel Álvarez passionately writes about intercultural expression co-mingling at the margins and diversity in American theater.

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