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Arts & Culture

Visions of home drive Touchstone Theatre's Festival UnBound, director says

Fesival Unbound.jpg
Touchstone Theatre
Touchstone Theatre's Festival UnBound begins on Friday, Sept. 28, in Bethlehem.

  • Five days of mostly free dance, theater, poetry and music 
  • The event’s director, Mary Wright, says the unifying theme is ‘what makes a place feel like home’
  • The first event is part of a months-long effort called, ‘Hidden Bethlehem’. It takes place Wednesday, Sept 27, 6-7 p.m. in the sculpture garden alongside Payrow Plaza

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Southside Bethlehem-based Touchstone Theatre kicked off its Festival UnBound on Wednesday, Sept. 27, with an opening ceremony on Payrow Plaza at 7 p.m. WLVR’s Brad Klein spoke with the festival’s director, Mary Wright, about her vision for the five-day event.

Wright said, “The idea of home and what makes a place feel like home” is a unifying theme of this year’s event, comprising 15 performances over five days. Festival UnBound incorporates theater, dance, music, poetry and the visual arts.

Among the performances she highlighted in her conversation with WLVR’s Brad Klein was the immersive theater piece, The Most Beautiful Home… Maybe, which will play at the Ice House in Bethlehem on Saturday and Sunday.

“It's going to be quite a great experience for audiences,” she said. “It's an interactive immersive cabaret-style performance piece that gets people thinking about housing and housing policy and the kind of homes we want to be able to provide for people here.”

Festival UnBound Director Mary Wright on her visions of the event.mp3
Festival Unbound_File Photo From Touchstone

The festival also has a songwriter in residence, Jesse Ruben, who will lead workshops for adults and children and perform at Bethlehem’s legendary folk venue, Godfrey Daniels, on Saturday.

The first scheduled event is an hour before the official opening celebration on Payrow Plaza. It’s part of Touchstone’s Hidden Bethlehem effort to bring attention to some of the lesser-known attractions of the city.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 6-7 p.m., a multi-media event takes place in the sculpture garden to the East of Payrow Plaza, leading into the 7:00 opening celebration on the Plaza itself. Wright says that the often-overlooked sculpture garden is a “perfect” example of the hidden gems of the Lehigh Valley that Touchstone is working to highlight.