An American Odyssey, Community Event, and Playful Read Based on True Stories from the Ohio River Valley

Wild Home: Ohio River Valley, a play by Gwen Kingston, tells the stories of the coal and oil lands and the people who live there. The play will premiere as a dramatic reading on August 27, 2021. This FREE public event will feature food, music, drama and community conversations.

Created by Jessica Kahkoska and Notch Theater Company, Wild Home: An American Odyssey is a national theater project that features the fears, struggles and experiences of local communities in areas severely threatened by oil drilling and gas fracking. .

In each rural community, the Notch Theater Company hosts public story-sharing events from which a professional playwright creates plays based on shared testimonies and community feedback. The plays explore themes of climate change, land sovereignty and the industrialization of public lands and are then performed by professional actors and members of the local community in outdoor spaces. The plays are paired with facilitated dialogue on efforts to protect our lands from extractive industries.

On the ground in the Ohio River Valley, community partners include representatives from the Center for Coalfield Justice, Clean Air Council, FracTracker Alliance, Ohio Environmental Council, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, Earthworks, Save Our Roots, Keep Wayne Wild, Public Herald, the Indigenous Environmental Network, as well as many unaffiliated people across the Appalachians and the Ohio River Valley.

“I’m not afraid to stand up to the industry [ …] But it has been a hundred years since 10,000 union miners took up arms against a corrupt company. Maybe this time we can fight with our words. Maybe few of us have to die this time. […] When they call you a redneck, they think they are insulting you. But I think it’s something to be proud of. “-Wild Home: Ohio River Valley by Gwen Kigsrton

Wild Home: An American Odyssey aims to magnify stories about endangered American lands and the people who depend on it, especially at this crucial time when the region faces continued oil and gas development and its adverse effects. Wild Home seeks to deepen the conversation about protecting our lands both locally and nationally. The program works to connect and build capacity between disparate communities in partnership with rural towns across America.

Wild Home: An American Odyssey has been featured on HowlRound in their Theater in the Age of Climate Change series and on Broadway World. Wild Home is made possible by the generosity of Amy Aquino and Drew McCoy, thanks to a grant from the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET / TEN) supported by principal funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and by a National Endowment For The Arts Art scholarship. To find out more, get involved, support the project, or bring Wild Home to your theater, visit our website:

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