Review Fix chats with playwright “Footprints of the Polar Bear and Other Eco-Centric Plays” Phil Paradis, who discusses the production and the creative process behind it.
About Phil Paradis:
Phil Paradis (Playwright) served on the faculties of universities for twenty years and is best known for his full-length play with song Soldier’s Christmas (about the Christmas Truce of 1914), his solo play Evening with Stephen Crane, and Love Knots: Five One-Acts. His awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, Appalachian Poets Prize, Kentucky New Short Play Award and Cincinnati Director’s Competition Grand Prize for Footprints of the Polar Bear. Phil’s plays have appeared at ATA, Manhattan Rep, Producer’s Club, Midtown International Festival, fringe festivals in Hollywood and Cincinnati; Louisville and San Diego; Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati LAB Theatre, Falcon Theatre, Drama Workshop, Village Players, and elsewhere. A published playwright, poet, and fiction writer, Phil resides in Kentucky with his family and their cats. Watch for his North Country Holiday coming to ATA in 2020. www.philparadis.com
Review Fix: Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?
Phil Paradis: The inspiration for this project for me was that the dire predictions of climate change and global warming, rising seas, melting ice caps, and super storms that climate scientists predicted for 100 years hence have already come true 100 years earlier than they predicted. Humans are facing down the existential threat of the collapse of entire ecosystems, and the possible collapse of a viable biosphere which sustains human, plant, animal and aquatic life. If that doesn’t motivate humanity to act swiftly and cooperatively and innovatively to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions and to shift to sustainable and clean energy sources, and to create new infrastructures for those renewable clean green energy sources, then we all won’t be leaving much of a world for our children’s children to the seventh generation.
Review Fix: What did you learn/are learning about yourself through this process?
Paradis: I’ve learned that I feel very strongly about this. And that as an environmentalist and activist and writer, I can perhaps help express the urgency of catastrophic loss of the biosphere. We have to hold our leaders accountable for deceiving us about global warming. I don’t want to be alarmist saying the sky is falling, but… common sense tells us that we can’t squander natural resources, pollute the rivers, aquifers, the oceans, burn the rainforests and add another billion humans to the planet every two years. What is required is visionary leadership rooted in an awareness that the biosphere is fragile and the earth and its resources are finite. Unless we adopt drastic changes in thought and behavior and adapt to an enlightened stewardship of our planetary home, and tend it as our precious garden that sustains us, we will be joining the polar bear and the dodo and the passenger pigeon
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this piece for the future?
Paradis: If people like these plays, maybe they’ll want to stage them again somewhere. That would be fine with me.
Review Fix: What’s next ?
Paradis: I have a full length drama of an activist environmentalist drift that I would like to complete.