Rust Opens August 31

Cedar Rapids – In a special Labor Day weekend engagement, Legion Arts presents the Iowa premiere of Rust, a documentary play highlighting the everyday heroism of working men and women. Shows are Friday, Aug. 31, 8 p.m.; Saturday, Sep. 1, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Sep. 2, 7 p.m. at CSPS Hall, 1103 Third SE, Cedar Rapids. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

The play is based on hundreds of interviews Iowa City’s Working Group Theatre and playwright/ethnographer Austin Bunn conducted with workers who lost their jobs when General Motors closed a metal-stamping plant in Wyoming, Michigan. Over 1,500 people were laid off and the factory was razed to the ground.

Rust is a moving and sometimes humorous chronicle of Bunn and company’s voyage of discovery as they struggle to tell the stories of “GM gypsies” on their eighth transfer, tool-and-die third shifters watching their skills become obsolete, and the corporate “ax men” who select which plants will close. Along the way, audiences get an intimate understanding of the experience of job loss, the history of the “Rust Belt”, and just what happens to the people who make things in a country where fewer and fewer things are made.

“We’re excited to present this important new work over Labor Day weekend,” Legion Art executive director F. John Herbert said. “The play really humanizes the transformations that are taking place in American manufacturing and the human costs of those changes. At the same time, audiences will be inspired by the play’s portrayal of the utter resilience and spirit of the American working person. This is an uplifting story.”

“Rust shines,” the Grand Rapids Press wrote of the sold-out world premiere. “This show highlights the determination, loyalty, sacrifice and the everyday heroism of working men and women.”

A Q&A audience talk-back will follow each performance.

Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.legionarts.org until 5 pm the day of the show, or from the CSPS Box Office, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids, 319-364-1580.

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