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Displacement, Identity, And Climate Change Take Center Stage In MAMMELEPHANT From Superhero Clubhouse

This musical epic explores displacement and identity in the era of climate change as experienced by the world’s first mammoth-elephant hybrid.

Displacement, Identity, And Climate Change Take Center Stage In MAMMELEPHANT From Superhero Clubhouse

Superhero Clubhouse, a company that creates theater to enact climate and environmental justice, presents the world premiere of Mammelephant, a musical epic exploring displacement and identity in the era of climate change as experienced by the world's first mammoth-elephant hybrid. Written by Lanxing Fu and composed by Trevor New, the production is inspired by the Pleistocene Park geoengineering experiment, the Colossal de-extinction project, and an ancient Yakutian song-poem.

Directed by Nana Dakin, the play follows the first "mammelephant" as they try to make a hopeful future in a place where everything-knowledge, ancestry, even the ground beneath their feet-is unstable. Performances begin July 21 at 122CC Second Floor Theater (150 First Ave, Manhattan), with an opening set for July 24, for a limited run through August 6. Tickets are now on sale at www.superheroclubhouse.org.

In the Sakha Republic, located in far northeastern Russia, there is a radical experiment brewing to resurrect the wooly mammoth, save the Arctic permafrost from thawing, and prevent the worst of climate change. The Indigenous Yakut people are already experiencing homes sinking and roads buckling from the thawing land. Can one genetically engineered creature save humans from ourselves? And what can their story teach us about resilience to crisis and adaptation in the face of collective loss?

The cast of Mammelephant includes Zhanna Zakharova, pictured above, who grew up in the Indigenous Republic of Sakha where her mother still resides. There she witnessed how warming temperatures are sinking houses, access roads are disappearing, and ancient forests are being set ablaze. In Mammelephant, Zakharova gives voice to the Yakut people through her own words and her mother's as she plays the khomos, a traditional Yakutian instrument.

The complete cast and creative team for Mammelephant will be announced at a later date.

"As a young immigrant, the story of a fictional mammelephant-displaced from everything familiar, learning to adapt without being grounded in a legacy of family-resonated with me deeply," says writer Lanxing Fu who co-directs Superhero Clubhouse. "The experience of displacement and migration, chosen or forced, is something experienced by millions as a result of the climate crisis. In the development of Mammelephant, my writing has been deeply affected by the range of life experiences and identities that my collaborators have brought into the rehearsal room. Together, we've created a story that is filled with hope and activated imagination."

"Right now, I think there is a hidden disconnect people feel towards the climate crisis," says director Nana Dakin. "We see the news, we know it's bad, we worry about it - but we don't really know how to be in relationship to this crisis. Mammelephant offers a healing balm for this dissociation. It brings us together to ask, What lessons of resilience and adaptability do we have to offer each other?"

"Mammelephant moves away from familiar climate narratives of politics and apocalypse and invites audiences to envision how we might adapt together, create a hopeful future together, even in the face of displacement and loss," says producer Jem Pickard who co-directs Superhero Clubhouse. "Mammelephant critiques technological responses to the climate crisis by centering the Indigenous Yakut people whose homes are built on permafrost, and a mammoth-elephant hybrid creature whose de-extinction has displaced her not just from family and homeland but also from time."

Thirteen performances of Mammelephant will take place July 21 - August 6, 2022, at 122CC Second Floor Theater, located at 150 First Avenue in Manhattan. The performance schedule is Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM with 3 PM performances on July 24 and August 6. Critics are welcome as of July 21 for an opening on July 24. Tickets, priced at $10-$60, can be purchased online at www.superheroclubhouse.org.

Mammelephant was previously developed as part of Theatre Row's Kitchen Sink residency, a two-year period of support created and led by Sarah Hughes. Work-in-progress performances of Mammelephant were presented in February 2020 at Theatre Row and in February 2019 at HERE Arts Center & The New Ohio. Early development took place in November 2017 at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and in February 2018 at the Dragon's Egg Retreat Center.

Please visit www.superheroclubhouse.org for more information.

About the Artists

Lanxing Fu (playwright) is a Chinese-American theater artist, and Co-Director of Superhero Clubhouse, creating performance for climate and environmental justice with an interdisciplinary community. She is a writer, teaching artist, performer, facilitator, producer, and generative collaborator on a variety of new work, with a focus on community-based, socially-engaged practice. Published essays include: "Building Possibility in the Age of Climate Change" and "The Birth of a Climate Commons" (HowlRound); "A Climate of Change" (American Theatre). She was a member of TCG's 2019 Conference Committee on Climate and a TCG 2020 Rising Leader of Color.


Trevor New (composer) is a Brooklyn-based electro-acoustic viola musician, has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist. He has appeared as a soloist performing the Elgar Cello Concerto transcribed for Viola, and premiering the Henderson Viola Concerto with the Chelsea Symphony of New York in 2014. As a chamber musician he has played with the Balkan Chamber Orchestra on a multi-city tour of Japan, Chris McNulty on her Jazz album "Eternal", Joe Daley's "Portraits and Virtues", David Chesky's "Joy and Sorrow", Feist's "Metals", Hip-hop Violinist and Emmy award winner Damien Escobar, and in the TV Orchestra of television's first drama about life in a Symphony, "Mozart in the Jungle". In 2018 Trevor performed a concert series with Academy award winner Joe Hisaishi, playing his film scores, including "Spirited Away" at Carnegie Hall.

Nana Dakin (director) is a queer Thai-American director of new work, classics and devised performance based in NYC. Her work pursues social equity by examining the way culture is constructed and unsettling dormant biases. Upcoming: Lost Coast (The Playwrights Realm INK'D Festival) and Mammelephant (Superhero Clubhouse/122CC). She is a core member of B-Floor Theatre, Thailand's most highly awarded theatre company, and of Superhero Clubhouse, a company that creates theater to enact climate and environmental justice. www.nanadakin.com

Superhero Clubhouse creates theater to enact climate and environmental justice, cultivate hope, and inspire a thriving future. We are an eco-theater company that makes original performances and offers creative resources for communities and collaborators from all walks of life: students, scientists, artists, organizers, teachers, policy-makers, and more. Our artistic processes bring people together across differences to model a regenerative society in response to the climate crisis. Our work is joyfully rooted in ecological knowledge, relationship to the land, and imagination as a powerful tool of future-building. Superhero Clubhouse is based in Lenapehoking (New York City), the occupied home of the Native Lenape people, whom we honor for their stewardship.

Superhero = powerful individuals dedicated to environmental justice

Clubhouse = an inclusive gathering place for serious play

Please visit www.superheroclubhouse.org for more information.



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