Upintheair Theatre Presents...

Rate of Loss by Jordan Hall

Created with Mind of a Snail. Directed by Tamara McCarthy

Created with Mind of a Snail. Directed by Tamara McCarthy

Rate of Loss will be a full-length play, comprised of these three interweaving narratives, exploring our attitudes towards our biosphere and the dwindling diversity of life within it– the different ways we think about life outside ourselves: As raw material for our industries, as support system, as victim of our greed, as poignant reminder of our own vulnerability. By contrasting these three different moments, each of them uniquely inflected by its relationship to the natural world– Whales hunted to the brink of extinction, the first real recognition of the climate crisis, and a future prescribed by the effects overpopulation and radically diminished biodiversity– Rate of Loss paints a portrait of a world irrevocably altered by human progress, and asks: what are we striving towards, and will it be worth what we are losing as we attain it?

 The wonder and brutality of the natural world and our connections to it will play an important role in the production aesthetic of Rate of Loss. In order to paint an accurate picture of biodiversity, the piece will require the creation of imagined spaces and theatrical spectacle that can speak to natural events that many people will never witness in their lifetimes. I am hoping to experiment with large-scale low-tech puppetry, in particular, to mimic the effects of massive flocks of birds and fish, and with smaller scale puppetry to create individual animals. The movement of Ever’s sea otter, for example, might be created as a moving shadow in a projected circle of light. This recreation of natural spectacle through technological means will resonate with the text as well, pointing to a future where our records will very likely be all that remain of any number of threatened species.