SEA LEVEL RISE: A DYSTOPIAN COMEDY To Make World Premiere At The Broadway Bound Festival
Just as Summer 2019 is predicted to become one of the hottest on record, SEA LEVEL RISE: A DYSTOPIAN COMEDY has been chosen as one of the official selections of the 2019 Broadway Bound Theatre Festival. Intended to spearhead theater's entry into the climate change conversation, the new comedy written by Henry Feldman and directed by Ted Thompson will have a strictly limited engagement - playing just three performances only: Wednesday, July 31 at 8pm; Friday, August 2 at 5pm and Saturday, August 3 at 2pm in the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row.
Welcome to South Florida of the future! Have a drink and pull up a beach chair. Oh, and never mind that silly little two feet of sea level rise... you're in Paradise, after all! Set in South Florida where the citizens are so deep in denial they'll boil like the proverbial frog before giving up their Maseratis, septic tanks are (quite grossly) being pushed out of the ground. Enter an alcoholic climate researcher, absentee Russian condo owners and a homeless wandering gun nut.
All of South Florida's drinking water comes from an aquifer that starts just a few feet below the surface. Because South Florida sits on porous limestone, no wall can hold back the sea level rise. Also because of the porous rock, distance from the coast doesn't help. (Some of the most vulnerable communities, like Sweetwater in the play, are a dozen miles inland). The Everglades are only 3 feet above sea level. Salt water is already killing many trees by drowning their roots!
And the Hudson River isn't immune! As far North as Troy will see the same kind of sea level rise as on the coast. New York City could see double the rate of global sea level rise because of the slowing of Atlantic ocean circulation patterns.
The production features set design by Gary Vander Putten, lighting design by Jen Fok, and sound design by Eric Braunstein. Marialana Ardolino is the Production Stage Manager.
Henry Feldman is a climate change activist who has always believed in theater's ability to both entertain and enlighten. In 2015, he grew concerned that the message of climate change's impact on humanity was not being delivered successfully. Relying on his background in both engineering and theater, he wrote his first climate change comedy, Global Warming: A Comedy. It was workshopped in March 2019 with two well received readings. Mr. Feldman's desire to create a play where the characters are dealing with climate change in the moment led to the creation of Sea Level Rise: A Dystopian Comedy. Henry has used his programming talents to help the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications. This is Henry Feldman's second climate change play. His first, "Global Warming: A Comedy," was recently workshopped at the Key City Public Theatre's 2019 Playfest in Port Townsend, Washington. He believes strongly that the arts, and particularly theatrical comedy, should be instrumental in educating the public and inspiring action.
For nearly two decades Ted Thompson has directed a wide range of plays from comedy (The Sunshine Boys) to drama (Death of a Salesman) at venues ranging from the Brooklyn Heights Players to Theater for a New City. He has directed two plays by Lynn Nottage of which she said his direction was "sensitive and nuanced" (N.Y. Times Aug 24, 2018). Last year was his first year with the Broadway Bound Theatre Festival directing the Rob Dames thriller Nowhere Man. He returns this year, directing Feldman's ecologically themed comedy believing that climate change is the number one issue facing us today. "We have to worry about addressing this issue first and foremost because if we don't, we will not be around to have time to solve any of the other problems facing us today and in the future."
Performances of SEA LEVEL RISE: A DYSTOPIAN COMEDY are on Wednesday, July 31 at 8pm; Friday, August 2 at 5pm and Saturday, August 3 at 2pm.
Tickets are $27.25 and can be purchased online through the play's website https://www.sealevelriseplay.com/.