This project was inspired by the Reading Public Museum’s exhibition In Nature’s Studio: Two Centuries of American Landscape Painting. The exhibit, drawn from RPM’s collection, explores the Hudson River School and the emergence of the first uniquely American artistic movement; Impressionism and Tonalism at the turn of the century; and Modern trends in interpreting the landscape. Majestic and inspirational depictions of bucolic American vistas—intimate forest interiors, sweeping panoramic views of natural wonders, and dramatic images of the untamed land and sea—join dramatic scenes of Europe, the Near East, and South America by artists from the United States of America.


I spent a lot of time walking in this park over the past year and a half. As I witnessed beauty, joy, and constant growth around me, I wondered what I could contribute to the landscape and how I could share this beautiful space with others. I invite you to take a walk, enjoy the performances, and prepare to see this park in a new way.


  • There is no right or wrong way to experience In Nature’s Studio. 
  •  You can walk the path along the Arboretum and see what you see or visit each bench marked on the map below and wait for the performance.  
  • You may take photos and videos!  Please tag us, tag the performer if possible, and use #RTPinNature! We’ll re-share from there! 
  • The restroom in the Planetarium is open. 
  • This production is offered for free, but if you feel so moved, you can donate here.
  • If you want to learn more about the Reading Theater Project, click here!  


Director: Vicki Haller Graff
Asst. Directors/Stage Manager: Jewell A. Brown & Sean Sassaman
Photography & Design: Fadi Acra
Musician Coordinator: Chris Heslop
Dance Coordinator: Jessica C. Warchal-King

Leaves on the map indicate where a performance might be happening at any moment!


*The letters beside each performance will correspond to letters chalked near benches around the park.

(A) Mitzi & Professor Snuggles Do Their Part – Kath Godwin

Written by Adam Richter. A volunteer docent reluctantly gives a tour on area plants, but she really wants to talk about her cats. 

(B) People Watching – Joel Richard Gori

An installation on being watched.

(C) Iridescence – Jessica C. Warchal-King

Iridescence is inspired by William Baziotes’ “Untitled,” “Evening” by Leon Dabo, and the mystery of the night and cycles of the moon. Original music created by Jill Haley.

(D) Milkweed Warrior – Megan Rose 

An aural and visual telling of the lifecycle and importance of the Butterfly Milkweed.

(E) Peter Pan Goes Over the Rainbow (Pt. 3) – Christopher Paul Paolini

Peter Pan has traveled to The Land of Oz and has been having new adventures. He sits to rest for a while and finds a book of poetry, as well as a magical guitar.

(F) 鳥の卵Andrew Pochan & Nadia Pochan

Installation piece that uses birds as unwitting performers.

(G) Body-Land-Scape – Arielle Ridley 

Body-Land-Scape reflects on the layers of Nature as a source of life and the nuances of her complexity, as revealed in Reading artist Francis Daniel Devlan’s “Landscape Study.”

(H) Bass Tree SuiteChris Heslop

Featuring Kevin MacConnell, Noah Wills, Chip Breaux, Penn Hoffert

Bass Tree Suite, for four bass violins, is inspired by trees and the way they gently sway in motion and sound, lumbering through the sonic registers.

(J) Reconnecting – Ryan Cassidy & Kathryn Pedersen 

An exploration of the process of and hurdles to re-socializing as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, using movement, back porch blues, Bach, and text from Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Strindberg.

(K) Seasons in our National ParksJill Haley & Dana Cullen

Nature comes to life in an aural sense as oboe, English Horn, and keyboard sounds are combined in performance of images inspired by our natural world.

(L) Unseen Landscapes – Amy J. Young 

A former Berks County slave haunts the Reading Museum every July 25 to commemorate her brother who escaped slavery and her friend who died trying. 

(M) One With Nature – Dancer Xiao King aka Richie Maldonado

Hip hop, elemental style dance. Using the environment to influence the dance style. 

(N) Mirror Pond – Kath Godwin & Vicki Haller Graff

An audio walking play written by Adam Richter. Two swans visit the Arboretum in search of their ancestral home. To listen to this play, please visit


Kath Godwin

Joel Gori, Founder

Vicki Haller Graff, Artistic Director

Chris Heslop, Music Director


Jennifer Reimer, President

Katie Hannon, Secretary

Sara Smith, Treasurer

Randy Miller

Tracy Schott-Wagner


Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Berks Arts
Reading Musical Foundation
Tompkins VIST Bank
Sara and Adam Smith
Jen and Steve Reimer
JCWK Dance Lab
Daily Loaf Bakery


Beverly Houck and the Yocum Institute of Arts Education
Wendy Koller and the Reading Public Museum
Roberta Jewell of Jewelltique
David Guest and BCTV
Abraham Graff


September 18th – 26th
“Harvest Moon,” a vritual dance, music, theatre experience
presented by JCWK Dance Lab
sponsored by Reading Musical Foundation
See www.jcwkdancelab/harvestmoon for more information

September 21st & November 16th, 6:30 p.m.
“Reading Reading” on BCTV & Streaming

November 18th – 21st
An RTP Original Performance @ WCR Center of the Arts