On Sept. 9, 1776, in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress renamed the Colonies the United States of America. Experience the spirit that fueled a rebellion that birthed a nation as only a Revivalist can! Be immersed in the songs and stories of our folk tradition and stand UNITED with us as we declare our independence.
UNITED takes the idea one step farther by reviving a seminal event from the creation of our country: the live declaring of independence which took place daily from July 8th through August 8th, 1776 throughout the American Colonies. By engaging with this ritual, the Revivalists hope to provide audiences with a visceral reminder of what the Founding Fathers believed it meant to be an American.
The show pulls heavily from the Declaration of Independence itself, as well as other important Colonial era documentation and oration – most of which was generated in the Greater Philadelphia Region from 1776 – 1780. The show also uses live music of our folk tradition from the colonial era through the early 1900s, played by the ensemble of co-creators (aka our band of Revivalists). The courtyard of the Betsy Ross House provides a unique, lively, and deeply connected venue for this immersive rally experience. It is an ideal venue to engage in the exploration of themes of American liberty and unity and the contemporary challenges that face both of these core values.
The Revivalists are a new collective of Philadelphia artists who strive to connect our own modern context with unique cultural episodes from throughout American history. Through exploration of stories, music, ritual and philosophy, the Revivalists find modern meaning in our shared past. No tradition is too sacred, no experiment too perilous. Using found text and site-specific venues, The Revivalists look to find common meaning in our history and share in that experience with our audiences.
Audiences are invited to take part in the world we bring to life. True Revivalists encourage all to engage – to live and breathe the theatrical event – and move forward with the ideas presented to them. We challenge ourselves and our audiences to re-engage with the beliefs and principles on which our country was founded and thrived. The Revivalists look to build community through the synthesis of art and history. The event is all for your delight.