2019 - Present
As a Broader Impacts Partner of the National Science Foundation I communicate urgent climate science and core concepts of ecology to upper school students using the magic of immersive and participatory musical theater.
In 2019 I became a Broader Impacts Partner of the National Science Foundation, receiving a grant to develop a creative way to communicate core concepts of ecology and urgent climate science to young people. With the funding I began creating Ecotopia Now! - an entertaining high school assembly featuring immersive, participatory musical theater, nineteen musicians, five dancers, a chest-thudding bicycle-powered sound system (all electricity generated by the students), and a raging rock & roll light show, all purpose-built to initiate students in the fight for social & ecological justice.
The “pep rally for ecotopia'' was set to launch on April 22, 2020 (the 50th anniversary of Earth Day) until we were derailed by the pandemic. Now, as I rebuild the production in the Philadelphia area, I would look forward to exploring - were I hired by PDS - what possibilities for collaboration there might be with PDS’s performing arts department and interested students, to co-generate and workshop content, work with local guest experts in devised theatre, and otherwise shape and participate in the professional production.
During the pandemic, Ecotopia Now! pivoted to working with teens outside of school, particularly with Utah’s youth climate activists in Fridays For Future. We hosted meetings with free Indian food, taught peer facilitation (Circle-Ups) to build the movement for intersectional justice, and ultimately collaborated on four different works of participatory public theater:
2) Circle-Ups (which were staged at multiple venues)
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