This season of the Ko Festival of Performance was organized around the themes of justice, environmental security and climate change in collaboration with Serious Play Theater Ensemble for the live and digital premieres of “Moving Water”.
Conceived by Serious Play and written by Eric Henry Sanders, the play is a multimedia physical play focused on climate change, the global water crisis and the human relationship with water.
The production stars performers Kermit Dunkelberg, Ximena Salmerón and Will Swyers, who play three apartment dwellers thrown together in an existential struggle based on their personal positions on climate change and a developing water crisis. Zara, a Pakistani immigrant and friend of Sergei, the super-building, is missing. They have devised a secret project to save their building from an impending flood. Luna, a Mexican oceanography student, and Drew, a climate change denier and son of the owner of the building, are quickly embroiled in the research.
“Many crises are unfolding at the same time on the planet, revealing the centrality of water as a threat to the survival and well-being of each country, region and civilization in different ways: droughts, floods, rising seas , melting glaciers and ice, decrease in groundwater. , changing ocean currents, pollution, ”said Rosalyn Driscoll, visual artist and playwright for“ Moving Water ”. “Our region is relatively stable, but is prone to flooding, drought, industrial and agricultural pollution and mismanagement. We have issues to resolve in each of these areas. Paradoxically, all water is connected, and all water problems are local. We need to take care of our waters.
Drinking water should be a right, she added, but access to safe drinking water is increasingly threatened by weakened regulations, degraded infrastructure, corporate / industrial power. and the privatization of water sources.
“Water considered as a commodity goes against free access. Clean water is an ideal to aim for; drinking water as a right is a higher ideal to strive for, ”she said. “Changing conditions and threatened waters create stress, inequality and desperation, which in some cases is addressed through cooperation and innovation, but in others through competition and violence. “
She initiated a theatrical and artistic approach to the water crisis, believing that people take care of what they love and that art can generate a sensual and emotional connection with water. “The theater can focus, dramatize and highlight its role in our lives. It can inspire without being didactic, scientific or depressing, ”she said.
“Moving Water” in the early stages of this project was a visual art installation by Driscoll. This installation was seen by Sheryl Stoodley and Robin Doty, artistic directors and general managers of the Serious Play Theater Ensemble, and they decided to collaborate in the research and production.
With the performances of “Moving Water” (both live and via the high-end video version) at the heart of the project, there will be live and digital displays which will contain images, information, a playlist – and some suggested actions not.
The web performances will be followed by a post-show live web chat with members of the creative team, water experts and activists and other artists working to solve water issues. in their art. Members of the public will be able to comment and ask questions via the chat.
Driscoll hopes audience members develop a greater appreciation for water, an awareness of the threats that threaten it, and a commitment to caring for it in their lives and in their communities.
Sabrina Hamilton, artistic director of the Ko Festival of Performance and lighting designer for the production “Moving Water,” shares this hope, noting that the water that makes up 60 percent of the human body and up to 80 percent of their brain , so that “requires us to attend on a global, national and local scale.
The production of “Moving Water” can be viewed live and online. Live performances, with limited seating, are July 22-24 at 8 p.m. and July 25 at 4 p.m. in the Workroom at 33 Hawley St., Northampton. Audience size is limited and advance ticket purchase at kofest.com is required. There will be a live conversation about the artistic process with the ensemble following the Sunday performance.
Northampton Open Media will record the live performances, which will be edited and captioned for online viewing on July 30 and 31 at 8 p.m. and August 1 at 4 p.m. Trenda Loftin will lead the real-time discussions after the show with the team and guests. experts – with public participation via Vimeo’s chat function.
All tickets must be purchased in advance online at kofest.com. Tickets are priced at $ 30 per customer, standard $ 20, and discounted $ 10 for those with SNAP / EBT cards, unemployed, or whose income is affected by COVID-19.
The Ko Festival’s Justice, Environmental Security and Climate Change season ends with the premiere of “Hawaii Five-G: Canary in the Gold Mine”. The production is specially designed to be viewed online by and with Jonathan Mirin of Piti Theater Company. More information and tickets are available at kofest.com.