Art Project Explores Towns Named Milton in Massachusetts and Beyond
If you’ve ever wanted to know what makes the town of Milton so special, a new art project just might have the answer.
OBIE Award-winning theater company PearlDamour has spent the past four years traveling to five different places named Milton in the Bay State and across the U.S. as part of a locally driven play and outreach experiment. The artists behind the “Milton Project” hoped to discover whether the “American community” truly exists by exploring towns with the same name in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Oregon.
Their experiences with the different cultures and people culminated in the creation of an innovative, 70-minute stage production that highlights the common thread between these vastly different parts of the country. The theater company also used the research project as a way to create a deeper level of engagement with the various Miltons.
“It was really important to us that if we were going to be making a play for a community, we also wanted to be making it with that community,” said company director Katie Pearl.
PearlDamour is returning to Massachusetts on Sunday, October 2, for the kick off a yearlong creative activity program called “Milton Reflecting.” The series will include a host of events ranging from art exhibits to a multicultural music festival.
The project will conduct additional interviews with locals for the play at this weekend’s kickoff celebration. Set to make its debut in Massachusetts this spring, the performance highlights aspects from each of the five towns, however, the play is tailored to put greater emphasis on whichever Milton is serving as host.
As to what makes the Bay State’s Milton so great, Pearl praised the town’s cultural diversity.
“Milton, Massachusetts, is an amazing, fascinating, and extremely rich community, and I mean culturally rich,” she said. “It has this extraordinary diversity of cultures that’s starting to become part of the town.”
The company hopes that the yearlong arts series can help facilitate more interaction and engagement between the different community groups in Milton, Massachusetts.
“I’m really excited,” Pearl said. “I think this project can really serve to create a network of all of those different efforts to strengthen them, lift them, and hopefully move forward with a lot of support.”
‘Milton Reflecting’ kicks off in Milton on Sunday, October 2. For more information, check out skyovermilton.com.