Upintheair Theatre presents
A Brief History of Human Extinction
Oct 10 - 20, 2018 - The Cultch
160 years in the future, a vastly changed climate and a creeping fungal plague has trapped the last remnants of the human race in a hermetically sealed biosphere. In a desperate gamble to preserve the species, Ever Pickwas-Holtz, the last descendant of the brave scientists of the Next Earth Project, works to complete an ark—an embryo ship that will carry Earth’s genetic legacy to a new home in space, while also caring for Ommie, the last living sea otter. With the launch looming closer and closer, Ever records messages to the potential future colonists, a cautionary history of humanity's conflicted relationship with the natural world. But while her tales for the future children of Earth may be intended to shape our new beginning, Ever's growing uncertainty about both humanity's future - and her own - cannot help but leak through. As Ever struggles to explain our checkered ecological past, Adam, her genetically-engineered childhood friend, has begun to suspect that launching the Ark will exhaust the facilities fuel reserves and condemn both of them to death. With the fate of the human race in the balance, tensions mount in their fragile Biosphere, and a series of strange occurrences outside reveal an even more terrifying possibility: There's something alive outside the facility, and it would very much like to come in.
Using multiple forms of puppetry to evoke the natural world and our desecration of, and estrangement from it, A Brief History of Human Extinction paints a portrait of a world irrevocably altered by human progress, and asks: Is extinction a catastrophe? A natural process? The inevitable result of human progress? And if it is, what does it mean if we’re causing our own? The characters in the piece grapple with contradictions rising out of the intersections of human progress and dwindling biodiversity; Ever and Adam confront the limits of technology's ability to help them salvage what they consider necessary to the human experience.
A collaboration between playwright Jordan Hall and Mind of a Snail Puppet Theatre , A Brief History of Human Extinction is being developed to tackle our relationship with biodiversity, and the ramifications of being complicit in a mass extinction through a variety of forms of puppetry and narrative address.
The show will be produced in 2018 and presented in the fall in the Historic Theatre at The Vancouver East Cultural Centre as part of The Cultch’s mainstage season.
Created by Jordan Hall and Mind of a Snail
Directed by Tamara McCarthy
Performed by Stephanie Elgersma, Jessica Gabriel, Daniel Martin, Dave Mott, Lisa C. Ravensbergen, & Chloe Ziner
Puppetry Design by Stephanie Elgersma
Shadow Puppetry & Projection Design by Jessica Gabriel & Chole Ziner
Scenic, Lighting & Projection Design by Jerguš Opršal
Composing & Sound Design by Nancy Tam
Costume Design by Chantal Short
Oct 10, 8PM: Preview
Oct 11, 8PM: Opening
Oct 12 – 13, 16 – 20, 8PM
Oct 14, 2PM
Post-show Artist Talkback: Oct 14 & 16
The Historic Theatre - The Cultch @ 1895 Venables Street Vancouver BC V5L 2H6