Review Fix chats with “2071” producer Jessica Jennings to find out why this production is an important one and how it’s science-based, documentary-styled approach is different from your standard piece of theatre.
About the Production:
2071, a play of reality, is being described as “Theatre that can change the world.” This play addresses climate change through riveting personal and scientific accounts. Christopher Graham Rapley, a British scientist, former executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, and Duncan MacMillan, an English playwright and director, most noted for the stage adaptation of the George Orwell novel, 1984, has created a theatrical experience that is engaging, informative, and most definitely real. They bring to life the horrors of CO2 emissions and what will happen to future generations if we do not act responsibly with regards to our planet. Originally performed at The Royal Court Theatre (London) 2014 and now making its American debut through Ripple Effect Artists, this production will donate a portion of its proceeds to 350.org, an organization dedicated to reversing climate change.
Through a grant from its Open Stage Grant, the Episcopal Actors Guild will serve as host of this project with all proceeds being split between Ripple Effect Artists and the charitable programs of the Episcopal Actors’ Guild (EAG). EAG (est. 1923) is a charitable organization dedicated to helping NYC’s professional performing artists “of all faiths, and none” who are experiencing a financial crisis. Learn more at www.actorsguild.org.
Performances will be Thursday – Saturday, August 1 – 3 @ 8;00 p.m.; Sunday, August 4 @ 2:00 p.m. Then again, Wednesday – Sunday, August 7 – 10 @ 8;00 p.m.; Sunday, August 11 @ 2:00 p.m. Tickets: https://ripple-effect-artists-inc.ticketleap.com/2071/?fbclid=IwAR0yedXffWFfMw1JZPccglRLTacUHkhtwmL5-X6zVRR8fCiFoBAXMuB7SdQ
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?
Jessica Jennings: The climate crisis inspired us to produce “2071…” The play itself was co-written five years ago by climate scientist Chris Rapley, about his life’s work, and renowned playwright Duncan MacMillan.
Review Fix: How do you choose a cause?
Jennings: Every year in the winter, the Board pools about 20 issues that are relevant to the world. We each pick our top three choices – what we personally would like to address. The votes come in, are tallied, and we have a consensus on the most popular issue. Then, we search for a play that addresses this issue.
Review Fix: What did you learn/are learning about yourself through this process?
Jennings: Ripple Effect Artists is truly collaborative. I think we see that more and more each year.
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this piece for the future?
Jennings: This is the U.S. premiere, which is a huge feat. We would be honored to hear another group takes it up. It should play across the world.
This play is cerebral and therefore one artistic goal is keeping the play emotionally captivating. Overall our goals are to touch and inspire people. It would be great to have our audience leave and then take another action on climate change NOW. We have the play which will stir them emotionally, and we have our signature talk-backs which are put in place so that the audience has a piece of reality, an action item, or a solution to take forth into the world.
Review Fix: What’s next year’s “cause-celeb’?
Jennings: Our new Season begins in September and we will switch our focus to the movement of people across borders; the humanitarian issues about migration and immigration. There will be a spoken-word and musical event in Mid-November curated by poet and board member, Ina Chadwick. Our Main Stage Off-Broadway event will occur in 2020 and we are hopeful that it will be the play GROUND by Lisa Dillman. It’s a play that looks at a small town in the U.S. bordering Mexico. It’s relevant, it’s heart-breaking, and the villain is the circumstances.