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The Encounter: Akron

The Encounter: Akron was developed in partnership with Rubber City Theatre and NCCAkron, with generous support from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


A live work of physical theater, The Encounter: Akron (2023) featured 12 local performers, ages 11-39. It exists within the larger project, The Encounter, which is being created with communities around the world, merging professional, pre-professional, and non-professional performers.


The work is an encounter with oneself , pulling from what we are currently carrying in our bodies–grief, hope, fear, desire, newfound power- and pairs it with our dreams in this moment of reconciliation with time, as we dig our lives out of the pandemics of this age. The burgeoning result is a cross-geographic, global conversation about the ferocious power of the body as a form of communication and the potency of movement as a connective language.

The Encounter: Akron

Choreography and Direction by Kimberly Bartosik 

Creative Associate Burr Johnson

Performed by Akron community members Britt Oliver, Elyse Morckel, Josy Jones, Katie Beck, Kay DePew, Kobe Calain, Melissa Ajayi, Neema Bal, Larry White, James/J2 Shepherd, Julia Dillard

Original Design by Eugene Rogers
Sound by Frank Naploski (Buffalo)

Photos by Hazen Tobar 

Development and performances of The Encounter: Akron are made possible by lead support from the Knight Arts Akron Community Fund at the Miami Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional creative support from the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron (NCCAkron) in association with Rubber City Theatre and CDS Creative Productions made the development of The Encounter: Akron possible.

Press: Knight Foundation Grant Announcement Broadway World Announcement  Akron Beacon Journal


The Encounter: Akron premiered August 10-12, 2023 at Sandefur Theatre in Akron, OH. 

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