For more than two years, MFA student Jeff Stark ’10 had an idea for a play churning in his head. Within two months of enrolling at Rensselaer, he had penned the play, IRT: Tragedy in Three Stations. His first theatrical production made its debut Jan. 29 and ran for six nights in the New York City subway system. It featured a six-person cast and a technical crew of two dozen.
Stark, a former journalist and longtime editor of Nonsense NYC, a newsletter about do-it-yourself art and culture in New York, says he has always been interested in collaborative art and finding new audiences in public spaces.
The two-hour play tells the story of the evolution of the city’s subway system and the men who risked their lives to build it. The production sped along the tracks from Brooklyn to Manhattan, garnering rave reviews from theater-goers, regular commuters, and national and international media, including The New York Times, New York Post, Korea Daily, and Reuters online.
“I am starting to become comfortable with calling myself an artist, and I credit that to my experience at Rensselaer, which has given me the time and space to create,” says Stark. “There’s a great message in producing this play, which reinforces the idea that art is accessible, and that it can serve as a transformative experience and change the way people see everyday life.”