Eco Theater takes 'The Birds' to great heights
|by: by Mark Lord, Qboro Contributor|
It is the troupe's objective to be ecologically sound by reinventing its performances in a wholly environmentally friendly manner, utilizing only non-toxic found, repurposed, recycled, donated or green materials. Yes, the entire production is made from scraps found on the streets of New York. Empty toilet paper rolls, CDs (sans their jewel cases) and a vacuum cleaner hose are among the many familiar items utilized on stage. These and dozens of other sundry tidbits become the set and costumes. Add some simple lighting, a few sound effects and a half-dozen quick-change artists, and you've got the makings of a fun-filled evening.
But this company is not only about fun. Artistic Director Jeff Burroughs, a young man who grew up on a farm in Michigan, arrived in New York in 2006 and, almost immediately, said he noticed "an unconscious disconnect with nature." Citing the recent massive oil spill, regulators who turn their heads from pesticides in food products and "a continued lack of support for our ecological and cultural lives," he urges audiences at his group's plays to "get involved and take action by educating ourselves, contacting our local officials and finding a way to serve our community." The current production is an ideal vehicle to promote Burroughs' commitment to "raising awareness about ecological issues through the arts." The play itself, as well as the multiple displays in the lobby, call attention to the plight of endangered species of birds. Set in a landfill and inhabited by half-puppet, half-man trash art creations, the play finds its protagonist, Pisthetaerus, an ordinary Athenian, setting out with his friend Euelpides to escape the hustle and bustle of congested city life.They are tired of the law courts, politics, false oracles and military antics of their fellow citizens.They resolve to seek out a place where they can spend the rest of their days in peace and tranquility. "It's funny how something written in 414 BC is so relevant today," said Burroughs of the play."Who doesn't want to fly away to escape all the noise, high unemployment rates, political scandal and years in a failed war that cost about 705 billion dollars?"
Pisthetaerus prevails by defeating his enemies through their own greed and sets out to build a utopian society. Bringing the character to life is Eric Sutton, who dominates the proceedings with a strong presence, resonant voice and an abundance of comic and dramatic flair. Patrick Bonck plays his sidekick, Euelpides, as well as several other roles, with obvious relish. In fact, the entire company, which includes Matthew Jellison, Freddie Bennett, Nicole Hodges, and Kim Ramirez - all of whom play multiple roles convincingly - appears to be performing far from the lights of Broadway simply for the sheer love of the craft. Gonzalez has molded the cast into a finely tuned ensemble and maintains a breakneck speed throughout.His own set design is clever, as is the work of costume designer, Dana Du Bouis and puppet designer Lillian Clements. "The Birds" is this season's final production from the company, which was named for the exact time, on Dec. 27, 2007, when Burroughs first had the idea of creating "eco-theater." Today, the company claims to be the first arts organization dedicated to encouraging writers, artists and designers to explore today's pressing ecological issues through the medium. "The Birds" will not be everyone's cup of tea, but it has been made accessible for general audiences.Prior knowledge of the play should, however, prove useful.
NYC Eco Theater Company Holds Benefit To Raise Money For Gulf Coast Animals
Rebecca Naomi Jones Set For 'The Birds' To Save Birds'
Don't Cut Yourself on the sharp edges
|by: BBW's Michael Roderick|
9Thirty Theatre Company Presents "The How It Could Be" Plays
|by: BBW News Desk|
THE "HOW IT COULD BE" PLAYS will present readings of four thirty-minute eco plays; At the end, audience members will be able to cast their vote for which play will be a part of our 2010-2011 Season. The company is committed to bringing eco-art and sustainable thinking to New York City as part of their 2009-2010 season: Earth In Translation..."
Top 10 theatre companies to watch in 2010
|by: BBW's Michael Roderick|
The Eco-Friendly Theatre of the Future
|Published April, 2009, (pgs. 8-11)|
by: Mike Lawler
Full Article or find it at a magazine shop near you.
A Fresh Assortment Review
|by: Peter Filichia|
Fresh Assortment was the collective title for the troupe's four one-act plays "that explore humans and their relationship
with the environment." The second and fourth each had a nifty premise. Barbara Kingsley's Living in the Blue Zone had
Darsi visit her friend Janet, whom she hadn't seen in four years. In that time, though, Janet has gone so green that
Elphaba would look as white as Glinda. Darsi can't believe all the inconveniences she must endure, down to a
solar-powered shower that may not offer very hot water if the sun isn't shining brightly. The other winner was
Michael Anderson's uproarious Mr. Sasquatch Goes to Washington. Don't call the hirsute title character "Bigfoot,"
for that would be as offensive as calling an Inuit by the "E-word" (Eskimo). He's in the nation's capital to lobby
for his environmental rights, but runs into a thoroughly phony, fast-talking, pseudo-endearing female government official.
In that role, Rebecca Naomi Jones did a hilarious, spot-on Sarah Plain imitation. But director Isaac Klein got every
other laugh from the very funny script, too. I won't wait till the next Earth Week to visit a 9Thirty Theater Company
A Fresh Assortment Brings Eco Theatre to the South Street Seaport April 22
|by: Adam Hetrick|
The theatre company, which devotes its programming to works that inspire sustainable living and environmentally aware
art, presents Assortment as the first production of its year-long residency at the Seaport. Performances continue through
9Thirty Theatre Company Presents Eco Plays in NYC
|by: Jasmin Malik Chua|
For the week of April 22 to 25, in celebration of Earth Day, 9Thirty will be presenting A Fresh Assortment, a
series of four plays that bring environmental issues-climate change, overpopulation, colony collapse disorder-to life on
stage. Take a peek below the fold to see what the performance troupe, which uses salvaged materials and performs outdoors
and in abandoned spaces, has in store for the city so nice they named it twice..."
9Thirty Theatre Co: A Fresh Assortment
Casting Announced for A Fresh Assortment Festival of Eco Plays
|by: Adam Hetrick|
The festival of environmentally conscious works is the first production presented as part of 9Thirty's one-year residency at the Seaport. 9ThirtyTheatre Company, which devotes its programming to works that inspire sustainable living and environmentally aware art, will present four plays as part of the festival, which runs April 22-25.
Announced to appear in the offerings are Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange, This Beautiful City, Wig Out),
Ashley Austin Morris (Die Mommie Die!, "The Electric Company"), Will Rogers (From Up Here), Trevor Vaughn,
Freddie Bennett, Jeff Burroughs, Chance Carroll, Nicole Hodges, Holly Pierson, Stacy Salvette and Elizabeth Van Meter..."
9Thirty Theater's A FRESH ASSORTMENT Plays During Earth Weeks
|by: BBW News Desk|