Climate Change Theatre Action performance

Climate Change Theatre Action event pairs Biodesign scientists, Herberger actors

By

Ben N. Petersen

Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute played host to “Climate Change Theatre Action” Tuesday, an event communicating some of the most pressing sustainability issues of our society, by featuring three performances by ASU student actors followed by presentations from Biodesign scientists.

The event filled the Biodesign auditorium and was presented in partnership with the School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. It was one of 211 similar events held in 38 countries to address climate change through theater.

Micha Espinosa, organizer of the event and associate professor at the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, said she was thrilled with the turnout.

“I think the event did exactly what we wanted it to do, which was to ignite people to action,” she said. “I was thrilled with the illumination that the texts provided and that the scientists were then able to tell us about their research and the great work that’s being done here at ASU.

Each play was matched with a Biodesign researcher. Biodesign faculty Arvind Varsani and Athena Aktipis, along with graduate student Charles Rolsky, presented about their research and took questions from the audience. Topics included conducting research around penguins in Antarctica, microplastic contamination in the oceans, and examples of human cooperation in different cultures around the world.

Chispa, a local community advocacy group part of the League of Conservation Voters, also presented information about their clean air campaign at the event.

List of plays:

“Homo Sapiens”

Did homo sapiens cause their own demise, or evolve into the next species? Written by Québécois Chantal Bilodeau. Directed by Rachelle Dart. Featuring Corey Reynolds and Jillian Walker, partnered with scientist Athena Aktipis.

“Penguins”

Penguins spy on scientists in a comical interpretation told from the penguins’ view. Written by graduate of the University of Queensland Elspeth Tilley. Directed by Professor Sandra Crews. Featuring Jonathan Gonzales, Victor Arevalo, Gnyanesh Trivedi, Caroline Householder and Tara Scanlon, partnered with scientist Arvind Varsani

“Single Use”

Two characters stumble through an awkward first date, discovering their values clearly do not align. Written by Jamaican born and Canadian raised Marcia Johnson. Directed by Tara Scanlon. Featuring Fay Schneider and Dirk Fenstermacher, partnered with scientist Charles Rolsky.