Huss Stories: A Play explores past and future

Categories:Events, Projects, Story
Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma
Huss Stories Play

Twinkling lights hung from the half disassembled drop ceiling in the kindergarten room as crowds gathered this past Friday and Saturday evening to enjoy Huss Stories: A Play. Christina, a *cino intern and theatre major at Calvin College, spent her summer interviewing, transcribing and organizing for the reader’s theatre-style production, which explored stories from the school’s history as well as ideas about its future as a community center and off-campus program.
Between the two evenings, about 50 people showed up to be part of the audience and stuck around afterwards for tours, conversation and refreshments. Audience reactions were encouraging, from those who saw their own story in the story of Huss and its rural community, to those who fell in love with Three Rivers, flaws and all, as a result of the production’s compelling stories.
Ever since *cino purchased the historic Huss School in 2009, we’ve talked about wanting to put some kind of public production together based on the many, many stories of the school that people were sharing with us. So in some sense, the culmination of Christina’s work this summer and Liz and Jared’s work last summer was a dream come true! Even though the play is a workshop production that will continue to evolve, it contributes to the school’s growing identity as a place of storytelling, creativity, memory and theatre. Thank you to Christina and all of the actors, interviewers, transcribers, bakers and other contributors who put their time and effort into this event! We look forward to continuing to collect and steward the rich stories associated with this beautiful building.

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Kirstin is a member of the *culture is not optional core community and is the Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center.