In 1993, playwright Erik Ehn formulated a proposal for small, like-minded theaters across the country to organize and share resources. He termed the collective Big Cheap Theater or Art Workers Hostelry. But after the first meeting, the name "RAT" (or "R.A.T." or "Rat" or "rat"-- you define it or spell out the acronym as you see fit for yourself at any given occasion) . This proposal was published in the Yale journal Theatre and drew responses from several theaters nationwide. In December '94 the University of Iowa's playwrights program sponsored a first meeting. The following theaters were represented:
The result of that meeting is described by Erik in the third article on the subject of RAT published by Theatre .
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