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Live Arts Bard Presents Storyhorse Documentary Theater's Good Dirt

Community Picnic Follows Performance

Eleanor Davis
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Live Arts Bard welcomes Tivoli-based Storyhorse Documentary Theater’s multimedia play based on transcribed interviews with six diverse farm families in the Hudson Valley. Good Dirt, a collection of the farmers’ personal accounts depicted by actors from recent popular TV series, will be performed on Sunday, October 2 at 3 p.m. in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. A community picnic follows the performance on the Sosnoff Theater lawn. Bring your own picnic and blanket, or sample the offerings available on-site for purchase, featuring goods from some of the farmers portrayed in Good Dirt and other local purveyors. Tickets are $15–20; $5 for students. For more information and to buy tickets, please visit or call the box office (845) 758-7900.

Good Dirt illustrates the fragility of our agricultural heritage and seeks to inspire the local community to engage and invest in its present and future. Written by Storyhorse Documentary Theater’s Jeremy Davidson, and directed by Mary Stuart Masterson, the program is presented in collaboration with the Bard Center for Environmental Policy (Bard CEP) and the Hudson-based National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC), led by Bard CEP alum Lindsey Lusher Shute ’07.
Says Shute, “A long list of challenges has cost the nation 4.3 million farms since 1920: consolidation; vertical integration; racial discrimination; competition for land; dwindling dollars for research and support. What’s more, there is a serious lack of young people to keep farms in operation—two-thirds of the nation’s farmland will need a new operator in the next 25 years. National Young Farmers Coalition partnered with Storyhorse Doc­umentary Theater on Good Dirt because now, perhaps more than ever, people need to understand farmers. It’s time to listen. And to take action.”
The farms featured in this unique performance include the Hudson Valley Seed Library (Accord), Denison Farm (Schaghticoke), Green Goats (Red Hook), Soul Fire Farm (Grafton), Tello’s Green Farm (Coxsackie), and Northwind Farms (Tivoli).
The accounts of the farmers’ experiences will be read by Jeffrey Demunn (Walking Dead), Margaret Colin (Madam Secretary), Lolita Foster (Orange Is the New Black), John Procaccino (A Most Violent Year), James Lecesne (The Best Man), Kohl Sudduth (Grosse Pointe), Pauline Chalet ’14, Tanya Selvaratnam, Gary Swanson, Jacqueline Knapp (You Don’t Know Jack), Andres Munar (Che: Part One), David Tass Rodriguez, Rose Stoller, and Mick Lynch (The Eclipse).
“Each seed has a story. Cultural stories. Drama. Romance. Tragedy. History . . . and every time you plant a seed you’re going to become part of that story . . . So it's important to know where our seeds come from. Who’s growing them. And which stories we’re growing in our own back yards.”
— Ken Greene, Hudson Valley Seed Library
Storyhorse Documentary Theater is a documentary theater project based in New York’s Hudson Valley. The stories are inspired by transcribed conversations with the people of our communities, historical documents, and other primary sources, focusing on the social, political, environmental, and medical issues we face, and are brought to life by actors in multimedia, staged readings. For more information go to
Mary Stuart Masterson was raised in New York City, the child of actor director Peter Masterson, and actress Carlin Glynn. She debuted in The Stepford Wives, at the age of 7. She has appeared in over 25 films; including At Close Range, Some Kind of Wonderful, Immediate Family (National Board of Review Award), Fried Green Tomatoes, Benny and Joon; and numerous plays and musicals, including the Broadway musical Nine (Tony Award nomination), National Anthems with Kevin Spacey at The Old Vic in London and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at The Kennedy Center. Mary Stuart directed and coproduced the feature film The Cake Eaters, starring Kristen Stewart and Bruce Dern (2009). Other producing credits include the indie feature Tickling Leo, written and directed by her husband, Jeremy Davidson, also released in 2009. Mary Stuart and Jeremy live in the Hudson Valley with their four young children (produced in 2009, 2011, and 2013). 

Jeremy Davidson is an actor, writer and director.  His work as a writer/director includes the Holocaust film Tickling Leo (Jury Prize, Best Film, Stonybrook Film Festival) and psychodramas for Binghamton University’s Upward Bound program. Jeremy has staged presentations of Guggenheim Award Winner Eugene Richard’s War is Personal at the Brooklyn Museum’s “WAR” exhibit and for the Soros Foundation. As an actor, recent television work includes Chicago PD, The Americans, Doubt, Royal Pains, the David Simon miniseries Show Me A Hero for HBO, and six seasons on Army Wives. Films include You Bury Your Own, SALT, Little Chenier, and Deprivation.  His work on-stage includes Lincoln Center’s Blood and Gifts, Manhattan Theater Club’s Back, Back, Back (Drama Desk Nomination), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Kennedy Center with Mary Stuart Masterson and Geffen Theater with John Goodman), the one-man play Nijinsky’s Last Dance (Helen Hayes Nomination Best Actor, Kennedy Center, Signature Theater, Berkshire Theater Festival) and the Williamstown Theater Festival’s production of William Inge’s Off the Main Road.
Live Arts Bard (LAB) is the interdisciplinary residency and commissioning program of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. LAB creates a community of professional artists and students who develop work side by side, inspiring one another to create and experiment. LAB provides studio and stage time, research resources and dramaturgy, production support, and essential funding to a wide range of professional artists and ensembles.
Bard Center for Environmental Policy
is a graduate program and research center that believes solutions to environmental challenges should be tackled from an integrated perspective. Through rigorous scientific, economic, and political training, students enter the professional world equipped with the knowledge and practical experience to create thoughtful, realistic, and competent policy.
National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. NYFC envisions a country where young people who are willing to work, get trained, and take a little risk can support themselves and their families in farming, and supports practices and policies that will sustain young, independent, and prosperous farmers now and in the future.
This event was last updated on 09-21-2016