UNDERGROUND RAILWAY THEATER:
engine of delight & social change
by Wes Sanders & Debra Wise
The contents of this e-book chronicle the evolution of Underground Railway Theater under the leadership of Wes Sanders (founding Artistic Director) and Debra Wise (current Artistic Director) during their 25 years on tour (1975-2001).
The co-founders of URT describe the process by which the ensemble engaged research and improvisation to devise its wholly original plays & puppet-spectacles, chronicling wildly varied collaborations with social change organizations and symphony orchestras. The theater's history is painted against the backdrop of its socio-political landscape, because URT is a troupe which always engaged robustly with the issues of its times, touring nationally and abroad pieces addressing the nuclear arms race, the Central American Sanctuary Movement, homelessness, environmental racism, and the legacy of its namesake, the Underground Railroad. Videos integrated into the ebook also animate the company’s innovations in integrating puppetry, music, and acting in works for adult audiences and for youth, in theaters, concert halls, and non-traditional settings.