EARTH (a play about people)

EARTH-53A couple faced with the possibility of having a child embark on separate journeys through time and space.  A multidisciplinary theatrical event exploring the personal, social and environmental questions surrounding contemporary issues of overpopulation. Created collaboratively and remotely by international teams of artists and scientists based on limitations inspired by the Voyager Golden Record.

EARTH is a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and international collaboration. Based on prompts and limitations given by Superhero Clubhouse, teams of artists working remotely (that is, in cities outside NYC) created highly personal scenes, images and dances inspired by themes and questions related to population. The material given to us by Satellite Teams was then developed in dialogue with our artists here in NYC. At this stage of development, we are asking three questions: 1. What is the play, and how does it confront the ecological research? 2. How do we collaborate with artists from afar? 3. How canEARTH be a singular event with consistency of vision, aesthetic and narrative, despite so many “cooks in the kitchen”? By asking these questions, we are also exploring what it means to get along in the world, in the face of global limitations, environmental crises and a population not yet at its peak.

A note from dramaturg Megan McClain

Last year, the Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space, becoming the farthest human-made object from Earth. On board is the Voyager Golden Record, a disk containing images, music, greetings in 55 languages, and sounds meant to capture the diversity of life on our planet. Created in 1977 by Carl Sagan and a team of collaborators, this time capsule was launched in the hopes that it might be found by intelligent life. Though ambitious, the Voyager Golden Record project was plagued by limitations. How could they hope to represent all of Earth on one record? In creating EARTH (a play about people), we faced a similar challenge. How can we tell a story about human life on this planet of 7.2 billion people? Taking the contents and limitations of the Voyager Golden Record as our inspiration, we have created our own imperfect performance time capsule filled with observations, stories, and experiences devised by a team of 20 local artists and scientists and dozens of artists from other countries including Romania, Australia, China, Japan, Greece, and Denmark. Our play begins with a couple waiting to find out if they are pregnant.  In this temporal limbo, they each embark on separate journeys through time and space. In a world fraught with limited resources and an alarmingly booming human population, what are the environmental, social, and personal implications surrounding the decision to have a child? How do we balance the beauty and brilliance of our species with the impact our very presence has on the world we rely on?

Support EARTH!

From now until September 13, we are operating a fundraising campaign to benefit our fall EARTHworkshop, taking place on Governor’s Island in September as part of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space grant and culminating in a public performance on September 20. We have just over a month to raise $5,000– this covers paying stipends to our company of twenty artists, plus other production expenses like design materials, transportation and cookie ingredients. Read more about the campaign and consider making a tax-deductible donation by clicking HERE.

September 20, 2pm – Work-in-progress performance

Building 110 on Governor’s Island

Free and open to the public

The culmination of a Process Space residency from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 

Team NYC

  • Co-directed by Jeremy Pickard, Harry Poster & Hannah Wolf
  • Made and performed by Nanda Abella, Sergio Botero, Jonathan Camuzeaux, William Cook, Janouke Goosen, Eben Hoffer, Yanghee Lee, Andrew Lindqvist, Bella MacDiarmid, Katey Parker, Jeremy Pickard, Sophia Remolde, Leah Shelton & Sonia Villani 
  • Written by Satellite Artists in collaboration with the NYC company 
  • Dramaturgy by Megan McClain & Anne Zager
  • Original music by Jonathan Camuzeaux 
  • MusicalArrangement by Janouke Goosen
  • Featured choreography by KatieRose McLaughlin
  • Lighting design by Bruce Steinberg
  • Sound design by Sarah Hughes
  • Design dramaturgy Solomon Weisbard
  • Production assistance by John Le

Satellite Teams 

  • Per Bech Jensen (Idom Kirkeby, Denmark)
  • Tommy Dickie & collaborators (Los Angeles, USA)
  • Tina Yotopoulou (Athens, Greece)
  • Christina Pickard (Perth, Australia)
  • Brian O’Neal & collaborators (Minneapolis, USA)
  • Nadia Serantes & collaborators (Santiago, Chile)
  • Toma Danila, Ioana Manciu & Horia Suru (Bucharest, Romania)
  • Byron Yee & Lyrica Yin (Guangzhou, China)

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.” ― Carl Sagan

Originally conceived by Sarah Hughes, Jeremy Pickard and Anne Zager

December 2012: early workshops in NYC
June 2, 2014: work-in-progress showing in NYC
September 20, 2014: work-in-progress showing on Governor’s Island, NYC (as part of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council “Process Space” grant)
2015: first-draft production, NYC

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