Upintheair Theatre Presents...

Rate of Loss by Jordan Hall

We are working with emerging playwright Jordan Hall (Kayak, How to Survive an Apocalypse) and shadow-puppet company Mind of a Snail (Caws and Effect, Curious Contagious, Multiple Organism) to develop a new work, Rate of Loss.

500 years in the future, a vastly changed climate and a creeping fungal plague has trapped the last remnants of the human race in a retrofitted conservation facility. In a desperate gamble to preserve the species, conservationist Ever Darte 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. While she struggles with cloning experiments in the hopes of completing the generations long work of making the ark viable, 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. Meanwhile, Adam, Ever's husband, tries to hold both their relationship and the fragile technology that keeps them alive together, hoping against hope for a solution that might offer humanity a chance for life on earth.

 Using multiple forms of puppetry to evoke the natural world and our desecration of, and estrangement from, it, Rate of Loss 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 Mind of a Snail puppet theatre and playwright Jordan Hall, Rate of Loss 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.