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Catalyst Radio: Austin Bunn on his documentary play, and on writing

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About Catalyst Radio

Catalyst Radio is the weekly public affairs radio program of Community Media Center, with producer and host Linda Gellasch. The program is a feature of WYCE and The Rapidian and includes interviews with organizations and people working on social change and community support, examines media and free speach issues, and takes a look at the behind-the-scenes of Rapidian reporting. You can catch it on air at noon every Friday on WYCE 88.1 FM or streaming on the Grand Rapids Community Media Center Website.

Past Catalyst Radio episodes are archived on The Rapidian.

THE FEED

Grand Rapids writer Austin Bunn talks about the making of his documentary play, "Rust," and his personal discoveries during the process.

Playwright Austin Bunn (left), with actors Paul Walsh, Chris Nye, Rena Dam and Ella Swift, on the set of "Rust"

Playwright Austin Bunn (left), with actors Paul Walsh, Chris Nye, Rena Dam and Ella Swift, on the set of "Rust" /Eryn Kovach-Sprenger

The documentary play "Rust" centers on the stories of those who lost their jobs when a local GM plant closed

The documentary play "Rust" centers on the stories of those who lost their jobs when a local GM plant closed /Robert Hazen

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Don't have time to listen now?  Download the mp3 and listen at your leisure.

 

INTERVIEW

Local writer Austin Bunn spends time on Catalyst Radio this week to talk about his documentary project "Rust."

When Bunn moved to Grand Rapids to become Assistant Professor of Writing at Grand Valley State University, he was shocked as a newcomer to Michigan over how hard the state has been hit by the shrinking of the manufacturing industry.  The closing of a local GM plant, eliminating 1,500 jobs, prompted Bunn to undertake the documentary project, which began its first run as a play at Actors' Theatre this past fall.

Bunn used the medium of a documentary play to actually bring to life the voices of those hit hardest by the auto industry's demise -- the workers who made a living working in the factories. "Rust" draws from actual interviews Bunn conducted with workers, following the shut-down of that local plant.

Some of those interviews also appear in a New York Times Magazine article published last week, entitled "End of The Line."

Bunn also talks about having been a journalist, and how the news industry, as well, is suffering a diminishing and changing role.

 

MUSIC

Music featured this week on Catalyst Radio is from local troubador Drew Nelson, from his 2009 disc Dusty Road To Beulah Land, with the song "Stranger."

Nelson's upcoming album Tilt-A-Whirl is scheduled for release next month.


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