REACH Ambler

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REACHAmbler Resources for Education and Action for Community Health in Ambler


An evening of new short plays about the continuing legacy of Ambler’s industrial past

REACH Ambler explores the history, environmental health, and community identity of Ambler, Pennsylvania, through a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF).

Saturday, April 25, at 8 p.m. These exciting, entertaining, and thoughtprovoking new plays are inspired by oral histories, and written by some of Philadelphia’s top playwrights. They will be presented as “staged readings.” To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit and click on “Education.” A unique collaboration between Act II Playhouse, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

From the 1880s to the mid-20th century asbestos production was the cornerstone of Ambler’s local economy. In more recent years Ambler has grappled with its legacy of material production, including a Superfund site and piles of asbestos in various states of remediation, as well as changes in demographics and the local economy. Through methods connected to oral history, public history, and science studies, the REACH Ambler project team has collected diverse viewpoints and information from Ambler residents and institutions. This research informs a variety of interpretive pieces, including one-act plays produced by Act II Playhouse and videos produced by camra, which demonstrate how history can help a community define its present and shape its future. For more information, visit This project is supported by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, under award number R25OD010521-01.

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