Extinction

EMOS 2015 – Call for Scripts

This post comes from Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

Earth Matters On Stage

EMOS ~ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival & Symposium ~ 2015
Hosted by the Department of Theatre and Dance
At the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2015

CALL FOR SCRIPTS

First place Award: $1,000 and workshop production
Second place Award: $500 and possible workshop production
Honorable mentions: public staged reading

Deadline for Submissions is April 1, 2014. 

The mission of EMOS’ Ecodrama Playwrights Festival is to call forth and foster new dramatic works that respond to the ecological crisis and that explore new possibilities of being in relationship with the more-than-human world.  The central questions EMOS asks are “when we leave the theater are things around us more alive? Do we listen better, have a deeper or more complex sense of our own ecological identity?”[i]  If your play does, send to us!

The EMOS Festival includes workshop performance/s of winning script, readings, talkbacks and discussions of the scripts that are finalists in the Playwrights’ Contest.  A concurrent Symposium will includes speakers, panels and discussions that advance scholarship in the area of arts and ecology, and help foster development of new works.

Past EMOS Winners:

  • 2012– Sila, the first play of The Arctic Cycle, by Chantal Bilodeau, in which “a climate scientist, an Inuit activist and her daughter, two Canadian Coast Guard Officers, an Inuit Elder, and a polar bear—see their values challenged as their lives become intricately intertwined.”
  • 2009 – Song of Extinction, by Los Angeles playwright EM Lewis, in which a musically talented teen and his father whose mother/wife is dying come to understand the deeper meanings of “extinction” from a Cambodian science teacher.  Song of Extinction premiered in Los Angeles and was recently published by Samuel French.
  • 2004 – Odin’s Horse, by Chicago playwright Rob Koon, in which a writer learns something about integrity from a tree sitter and a lumber company executive, went on to premier in Chicago in 2006.

Judges: A panel of distinguished theatre artists from the USA and Canada will choose the winning plays from five finalists.  Finalist will be read by past EMOS festival directors, Larry Fried, Theresa May and Wendy Arons, as well as EMOS artistic staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Past judges have included:  Robert Schenkkan, playwright; Martha Lavey, Artistic Director, Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL; José Cruz González, playwright; Ellen McLaughlin, playwright; Timothy Bond, Artistic Director Syracuse Stage, NY; Olga Sanchez, Artistic Director, Teatro Milagro, Portland, OR; Diane Glancy, playwright; Marie Clements, playwright, British Columbia.

Guidelines for Playwrights

Scripts must be original works which have not been published and have not had an Equity or “premiere” citation production.  (Readings or informal workshop productions are okay.)

Thematic Guidelines

We are looking for plays that do one or more of the following:

  • Put an ecological issue or environmental event/crisis at the center of the dramatic action or theme of the play.
  • Expose and illuminate issues of environmental justice.
  • Explore the relationship between sustainability, community and cultural diversity.
  • Interpret “community” to include our ecological community, and/or give voice or “character” to the land, or elements of the land.
  • Theatrically explore the connection between people and place, human and non-human, and/or between culture and nature.
  • Grow out of the playwright’s personal relationship to the land and the ecology of a specific place.
  • Theatrically examine the reciprocal relationship between human, animal and plant communities.
  • Celebrate the joy of the ecological world in which humans participate.
  • Offer an imagined world view that illuminates our ecological condition or reflects on the ecological crisis from a unique cultural or philosophical perspective.
  • Critique or satirizes patterns of exploitation, consumption, or other ingrained values that are ecologically unsustainable.
  • Are written specifically to be performed in an unorthodox venue such as a natural or environmental setting, and for which that setting is a not merely a backdrop, but an integral part of the intention of the play.

Submission Process

We are looking for full-length plays that are written primarily in English (no ten-minute plays, please; one-act plays are okay if 30+ minutes in length; no musicals, please).  Submitted plays should address the thematic guidelines as listed above. Deadline: April 1, 2014  ~ Early submission highly encouraged. / Electronic submissions may be sent; see #2 below for instructions.

  1. All submissions should include a cover page with:
  2. Two blind copies of the FIRST 30 PAGES OF THE SCRIPT ONLYPlease do not put the author’s name on the script, only on the title page.
  3. A synopsis of the play and cast requirements.
  • Play Title
  • Author Name
  • Contact Information
  • Additional requirements for Electronic Submissions:
    • Files must be saved in PDF; cover page may be a separate PDF file
    • Send to Jonathon Taylor at emos@unr.edu by April 1, 2014

Paper submissions must be received by April 1, 2014 to:

EMOS Festival
Jonathon Taylor, Department of Theatre and Dance,
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 North Virginia Street / MS 0228
Reno, NV 89557-0228

Evaluation Process

After reading the first 30 pages of all submitted plays, we will narrow the pool of submissions.  We will then request two full paper copies be sent to us by July 1, 2014.  Winners will be selected from this smaller pool.

Questions?  See our FAQ on the EMOS Website.  If you still have a question, email: emos@unr.edu.

Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to Chantal Bilodeau’s Artists and Climate Change Blog

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Slow Wing

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Slow Wing Owl, with permission Ilka BlueSlow Wing Owl, with permission Ilka Blue

Ilka Blue in Australia asked for this to be shared,

Slow Wing – an Australian satellite workshop of the Uncivilisation UK Festival

Byron Bay, 17th & 18th August 2013

Latorica in collaboration with The Dark Mountain Project present Slow Wing, a weekend workshop of storytelling from the deep.

Led by transdisciplinary artists Ilka Blue & Cherise Asmah, this will be an intense exploration of cultural and biological extinction as we search for ways to belong and adapt to a changing world. The workshop involves 2 full days of storytelling, walking, writing, deep ecology & creative practices that will conjure old & new stories of dying, death, belonging, place and mythologies of this land.

Slow Wing is free of charge but places are limited to 25 and will be offered through a registration process. For a registration form or enquiries please email ilka@thelasttree.net More details www.latorica.net

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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What does an Ice-Free Arctic mean?

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Stephen Leahy’s article (published by the Inter Press Service) on the “uncharted territory” of an ice-free arctic makes interesting reading.  It’s not just a problem for the indigenous peoples of the circumpolar region.  It’s not just a problem for polar bears, although they are faced with extinction as a result.  And in that context talking about it being a problem for us because it’ll change our weather seems facile.

What is interesting is reading it having just been reading Farley Mowat’s Canada North Now: The Great Betrayal.  The Second Edition was published in 1976, and whilst the impact of extraction industries on the landscape and culture of the North was foremost in the author’s mind, at that time the Arctic Sea Ice was a given.  There is no sense in this book of the Polar Ice Cap changing.  In 36 years we’ve gone from assuming that it’s a given, a permanent feature of the world, to a point where one summer it’ll be gone and the news will cover the first ship at the North Pole.  It’s quite a change.  The speed of change is what we seem to be unable to grasp.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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The right environment

from The Last Lunch

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Wallace Heim writes:

The Best New Play Award, offered collaboratively by New Writing South and the Brighton Fringe, is an award that has nothing to do with ecology. But this year’s award was given to two productions that have something to do with ecology.Playwright Jonathan Brown won for his play about meat-eating, The Last Lunch.

The company Feral Theatre won for Triptych, three productions on loss and extinction: Papusza, The Last of the Curlews and TreeStory.

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

In praise of the Boring Milipede

Boring Milipede

Erratic Ant

Hornet Robberfly

Orange Roughy

Elegant Earthstar…

Today I am giddy with the found poetry of the names of endangered British species. A member of the Arts & Ecology ning has posted news of an imaginative new artwork by the Ultimate Holding Company collective in Manchester. extInked starts on November 19 November 12 as an exhibition of drawings of 100 endangered species from the UK. From November 26 tattooists start to ink those drawings onto the skin of 100 volunteers. Each illustrated person then becomes an “ambassador” for the threatened species their body plays host to. The exhibition has been arranged with the support of the Marine Conservation Society, Buglife – the Invertebrate Conservation Trust and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.

The announcement of the exhibition came with the full list of the 100 species that the artwork was focussing on:

Scarlet Malachite Beetle

Soprano Pipistrelle

Noble Chafer

Wormwood Moonshiner Beetle

Noctule…

We tattoo our skin with the names of our loved ones. This artwork seems to question how much we love these declining species. ExtInct makes me think of the project the writer and journalist Caspar Henderson has been working on, The Book of Barely Imagined BeingsThe Anthropocene extinction, human imagination, and what comes next. In his explanation for the project he comes out with a brilliant phrase which has stuck in my head ever since I first read it:

Most real creatures that we think we know embody wonders we have hardly dreamt of.

Read more about extInked., (includes the full list of 100 species.)

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Video Games + Sustainability

Video games exist for improving brain fitness, financial planning, and learning dance routines, so why not for sustainable living? The field of video games that teach sustainability strategies appears to be slowly blossoming.

  • PowerUp the Game by IBM teaches kids how to save the world by bring clean energy to communities.
  • CO2FX is a web based multi-user educational game which explores the relationship of global warming to economic, political and science policy decisions.
  • Majesco Entertainment’s “Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest” promote awareness of the perils of “…over-industrialization, deforestation, pollution, extinction and global warming.”

Post your favorite environmental video game below.

Go to Eco-Catalysts

Theater Matters – notes from Earth Matters on Stage 2009 part I

Okay, so I can’t keep my nose out of it…

I’m here in beautiful Eugene, Oregon attending the 2009 Earth Matters on Stage: A Symposium on Theatre & Ecology at the University of Oregon. Last night was the official beginning of the event with keynote speaker Una Chaudhuri giving a talk on what she has dubbed Zooesis, or the discourse of animals (or, rather non-humans) in the media.

As I emerged from the talk I looked at Ian Garrett of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Moe Beitiks of the Green Museum Blog and said: “I’m not smart enough to be here.” Which is to say if the opening moment of EMOS 2009 is a reliable indicator, it will be a highly academic affair. Chaudhuri was followed by obligatory phases of mingling with strangers (not my forte) while smugly observing the corn-based disposable cups, paper plates and napkins, an engaging, often heart wrenching (though also quite academic) play by EM Lewis called Song of Extinction, and the most structured post show discussion (aka talkback) I’ve ever participated in, led by Cal State LA professor and playwright Jose Cruz Gonzalez. Part of me thought, “oh, I shouldn’t have stuck around for this.” It had the effect of stifling the power of the play, and its masterly intertwined themes. I jotted on my program during the talkback this tidbit: “Robbing the visceral through incessant deconstruction.” But that’s my own problem, right?

More later…

Go to EcoTheater

The Golden Record

Dario Robleto’s presentation at the Systems of Sustainabilty Symposium in Houston earlier this year explored extinction through stories and archival sound.  One portion of his presentation has not left my mind: The Golden Record.

The Golden Record

The Golden Record is a phonographic record that was included in the two Voyager spacecrafts launched in 1977.  The record was intened to provide insight into life on earth for any extraterrestrial life forms or far future humans who may find it.  In 2008, the Voyagers escaped our solar system.

The Record, for me, represents the sustainability of a life and culture in the form of archive.  At the time of launch, President Jimmy Carter is quoted to have said, “This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings.  We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.”

The Record’s sounds include a message from the Secretary General of the UN at the time, greetings in 55 languages, a lovely track titled ‘The Sounds of Earth,’ and music from around the world.

You can view ‘Images of the Earth’ and listen to all of the tracks at www.goldenrecord.org