In collaboration with the Museum of Science, Flat Earth Theatre has commissioned several new plays from premier Boston playwrights, including MJ Halberstadt (The Launch Prize, That Time the House Burned Down), Flat Earth co-founder Kevin Mullins (A Southern Victory, Citizens of the Empire: a Space Opera), Nina Louise Morrison (Born Naked, Google Doll), and Francisca Da Silveira (Heritage Hill Naturals) that focus on issues of climate change. Over the course of Flat Earth Theatre's 2017 – 2018 season, the playwrights will be matched with climate change scientists and experts to study, learn, and understand the issues present in their plays.
The project culminates Friday, May 4 with an evening of excerpt readings of the finished plays for the public at the Museum of Science, followed by a conversation between the creative teams and experts to illuminate how artists and their work can contribute to the important conversation and debate around climate change advocacy and policy-making. Book signing to follow.
Adults 18+ Only.
This program is free thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute.
Part of ArtWeek 2018! More at artweekma.org
For information about accessibility in the Museum: mos.org/accessibility. For questions or accommodation requests: 617-589-3102, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please request ASL interpreters at least two weeks in advance.
Recommended for: Visitors 18 years of age and older
In collaboration with Flat Earth Theatre.
Introduction by Mark C. Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center and author of Brave New Arctic.
Francisca is a Boston native and playwright who graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a double degree in dramatic writing and history. She has had administrative and literary roles at Target Margin Theater (New York City), The Russian Arts Theater and Studio (New York City), The Amoralists (New York City), and TC Squared (Boston). In 2015 – 2016, she served as the education associate at Company One Theatre (Boston) working with their teen apprentices. She is currently the literary manager at Company One. Fran's writing is greatly inspired and influenced by Anton Chekhov and Alan Bennett. She's had 10 minute plays performed as part of Theatre503's Rapid Write Response in 2014 (London) and TC Squared Theatre Company's Playwright's Lab Showcase in 2016/2017 (Boston). Her full-length play Heritage Hill Naturals will receive a world premiere with Fresh Ink Theatre (Boston) in May 2018. She is currently working on a commission on climate change with Flat Earth Theatre (Boston) in collaboration with the Museum of Science. Aside from writing plays, Fran is a home baker with an obsession with Mary Berry.
Title: Pay No Worship
Play Synopsis: Born and raised on Fogo, a tiny African Island, cousins Martin and Jose live at the base of a giant volcano and struggle to make a living in the precarious wine industry that has been the main source of their family's income for generations. While one refuses to give up on tradition and is content to continue living a simplistic rural life, the other longs for a visa to America in order to pursue a higher education. Both dreams and volcanoes are at risk of erupting as the cousins fight for opportunity, understanding, and their lives when a tropical storm headed toward the island threatens to destroy everything they know.
Nina Louise Morrison is a Boston-based playwright, director, and teacher with an MFA from Columbia University. She is a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow, Huntington Playwriting Fellow alumnus at the Huntington Theatre Company, winner of the 2016 Boston Project commission at SpeakEasy Stage Company, a Company One Affiliate Playwright, a core member of the devising company Project: Project, and a member of Rhombus writers. Her plays have been workshopped, read, and produced by Company One, Fresh Ink Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Flat Earth Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company, Open Theatre Project, SLAM Boston, and the Boston One Minute Play Festival, among others. She was a semi-finalist for the 2014 National Playwrights Conference and she is the recipient of a Richard Rodgers Fellowship and a Shubert Foundation grant. Before moving to Boston, Nina was the senior program associate at The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage's Philadelphia Theater Initiative. She also trained as an actor at the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the New Actors Workshop, and received her BA from Oberlin College. She currently teaches playwriting at Northeastern University, Grub Street writing center, and playwriting and screenwriting at University of New Hampshire. For more information: ninalouisemorrison.com.
Title: The Vault
Play Synopsis: In the near future, in the northernmost town in the world, a lost tourist and a local baker find themselves inside a cave in a mountain of ice in the middle of the night. These two strangers play a game of cat and mouse as we realize that the world outside is at war, ravaged by climate change, and they are each bent on saving it in their own way. Inspired by the science of seed diversity, the Global Seed Bank, the Vavilov seed bank scientists who died of starvation to protect the seeds during the Nazi occupation of Leningrad, and predictions that climate change will eventually cause widespread food insecurity and war. The Vault asks what if the Seed Bank were threatened and needed to be protected, despite the facility not being designed to shelter human beings.
MJ Halberstadt is a playwright and educator with a crush on Antarctica. He is a proud Huntington Playwriting Fellow and recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for "Outstanding New Script" (The Launch Prize). His work has been acknowledged and supported by Assets 4 Artists, BCA/Company One PlayLab, Boston University Creative Writing Global Fellowship, KCACTF Region 1, and Last Frontier Theatre Conference. He is a Playmaker Emeritus of Bridge Repertory Theater, member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and affiliated faculty at Emerson College. Learn more: mjhalberstadt.com.
Title: (We Are) The Antarcticans
Play Synopsis: A breakneck pageant of Antarctic history provides an irreverent introduction to the expeditions, discoveries, and politics that demarcate the world's least understood continent, and puts it on the map... for once.
Kevin Mullins is a playwright and theatre artist from Boston. His play A Southern Victory was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, a semi-finalist for the WordBRIDGE Playwrights Lab, and a finalist at PlayPenn. His plays have been presented or developed with Slant of Light Theatre, Flat Earth Theatre, Vagabond Theatre Group, Boston Public Works, Mill 6 Productions, Wax Wings Productions, Interim Writers, Fresh INK Theatre, and The International Anarchist Theatre Festival of Montreal and the Incubator Arts Project in NYC. He is a founding member of Flat Earth Theatre and has an MFA in dramatic writing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Title: The Aftermath of Chaos
Play Synopsis: December 2053. The United States is ripped apart by a second civil war. Toronto hosts a growing exiled community of Americans fleeing the fighting. On New Year's Eve, Alexis Wright, a former climate activist, tends to her rooftop garden, content to spend the rest of her life in exile. When two children of her former comrades knock on her door, Alexis is forced to come to grips with her past and is drawn back to the US to help make a better future. Switching between the American Southwest in the 2030s and Toronto in the 2050s, The Aftermath of Chaos asks the question of what will happen if we fail to stem the tide of climate change, and what acts are permitted in the name of a just cause.
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