Review Fix chats with “The Rare Biosphere” director Christopher Domig, to find out what his experience with the production has been like and more.
About the Production:
THE RARE BIOSPHERE is a timely, relevant, and powerful new play inspired by real-life immigration conflicts happening on a daily basis in this country. Given our current polarized political climate, it is easy to forget that behind these “political issues” are real people whose stories matter, and must be told.
In THE RARE BIOSPHERE by Chris Cragin Day, 17yr old Sophie who returns home to find that her parents have been deported. Together with her high school friend Sophie is forced to make life altering decisions about how to take care of her younger brothers and whether her dream of college is still within reach.
THE RARE BIOSPHERE plays the following schedule:
Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.
Thursday at 8:00 p.m.
Friday at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday at 3:00 pm** and 8:00 p.m.
* There is no Wednesday performance the first week. The only Sunday performances are Opening Night April 28 and Closing Night, Sunday May 19 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets are $30 ($20 student ticket) and are now available online at www.seadogtheater.org. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the venue 30 minutes prior to show time. Call ahead for availability 646-463-0542.
Review Fix: What inspired this production?
Christopher Domig: We are good friends with Chris Cragin Day and have always loved her work. We asked her if she had anything we could read and this was one of the new plays she gave us. We, as a company, are interested in telling stories of alienation and reconciliation because we believe that great theater offers us opportunities in paying attention and cultivating compassion. Choosing plays centered around questions is unique within the theater world. Most companies form their mission around a certain style or genre of plays. We find our company’s central questions compelling and universally relevant, and we trust they will lead us to the stories we ought to tell.
The play tells the story Sophie, a Honduran-American teenager, comes home from high school to find that her parents have been deported. She immediately goes into bunker-down survival mode, trying to care for her younger siblings without raising suspicion and considering her next move. Her plan is complicated when Steven, a well-meaning friend, oblivious to the issues she’s facing, discovers and struggles to comprehend her situation.
Review Fix: What makes it special?
Domig: Since we first read the play almost two years ago, it continues to be relevant each and every day. Given our polarized political climate, it is easy to forget that behind these daily headlines are real people whose stories matter. This is not a political play by any means, it simply presents Sophie’s story as it is. Our hope is that our audience will walk away with a nuanced understanding of the crisis we’re dealing with.
Sophie is an impressive student, a Dreamer, with plans to study Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University. She is fascinated with what is known as the “Rare Biosphere,” a term that refers to rare, previously overlooked, microbial species that play a crucial role in regulating Earth’s ecosystems. What we love about the play is that it draws a parallel between our current immigration crisis with the beauty and necessity of diversity in our ecosystem, offering an unique underrepresented perspective.
Review Fix: What are your goals for it?
Domig: We think this play is so important and we are incredibly lucky to produce the world premiere of it. We hope that the play will be published and get into the hands of young actors around the country. It’s the perfect play for young people to do and see, especially in a time of pronounced youth activism, this play provides a way for them to become engaged in the conversation!
Review Fix: What was the casting process like?
Domig: We went through auditions and met lots of incredible actors. We met Natalia Plaza and Zac Owens and they just fit! The chemistry between the two is important.
Review Fix: What was the feeling like on set?
Domig: It’s great working on a two person play! With fewer characters, there is more time to get into the meat of the play and have conversations about everything. We love having Chris Cragin Day with us, its a special opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the playwright.
Review Fix: Who is your ideal viewer?
Domig: Those who care about current events, immigration, and human rights. Don’t get us wrong, there is a lot of laughter in this play, but we do believe that this story is one that will stick in the minds of the viewer as long as immigration continues to be an issue in our country.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why should someone come to check it out?
Domig: Come see a new play, written by a woman, led by a woman and about current events!
Review Fix: What’s next?
Domig: Our theater company does monthly reading events in our residency space in the basement of St. George’s Episcopal Church near Union Square. We are also currently working on a site-specific piece to be done in a bar in Nolita. Stay tuned!
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Domig: We love to meet artists and theater-goers. Join us sometime!