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On Friday December 13, 7:30-9:00 pm at the Mark Wilson Theatre on the campus of St. Louis University, "Playhouse Emissions: Climate Change Theatre Action St. Louis 2019" will be presented as part of the international Climate Change Theatre Action 2019. Admission is free.

The St. Louis event follows the growing tradition of rapid response from theatre artists for collective action on some of the most pressing issues of our time, including gun violence and extrajudicial violence against people of color.

Produced by Joan Lipkin, and directed by Thomas Martin, Anna Blair and Alex Knapp, "Playhouse Emissions: Climate Change Theatre Action St. Louis 2019" will feature a sampling of the CCTA international collection of short plays inspired by climate change and prevailing attitudes towards science. In 2017, close to 140 collaborators in 23 countries hosted events, reaching an audience of 12,000. In the US, 90 events took place in 60 cities.

"Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing us as a global community," said Joan Lipkin, producing artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company, and one of this year's commissioned playwrights. "Scientists estimate that we have 15 years to decarbonize the economy if we want to stave off the worst impacts of climate change that will affect all of us globally."

Read by some of the leading actors in St Louis including Dan Kelly, Donna Weinsting, Anna Blair, and Don McClendon, among others, as well as students from St. Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis, the plays were selected from two anthologies that were commissioned by the CCTA organization.

The playwrights were chosen from over 25 cultures, from industrialized and developing countries and urban and rural areas. These perspectives include low lying nations threatened by sea level change and countries facing severe heatwaves, floods, droughts, deforestation and/or biodiversity collapse. 50 playwrights are commissioned for each two-year cycle.

The plays include Single Use by Marcia Johnson, Homo Sapiens by Chantal Bilodeau, The Reason by Stephen Sewell, About That Chocolate Bar by Joan Lipkin, Six Polar Bears Fell from the Sky This Morning by Alister Emerson, El Toro Sagrado In the Car Repair Shop by Mindi Dickstein, and Brackendale by Elaine Ávila.

The play readings will also include a performance of How Dare You: Greta Thunberg's Address to the United Nations, an adaptation of her remarks by Alex Knapp, a second-year master's student in Theatre and Performance at Washington University in St. Louis, and Joan Lipkin. "The most important thing we can do is inform ourselves and understand the situation," according to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old climate activist.

"As a scholar and artist, I care deeply about education and access, especially regarding the most pressing concerns to life on this Earth. I find performance to be an excellent venue for bringing these issues to the fore, sparking a dialogue within communities, and providing equitable access to education on these topics," says Knapp.

Climate Change Theatre Action is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays that are primarily presented to coincide with the United Nations COP 25 meeting.

"Saint Louis University is dedicated to providing the vehicle through which students and the general public can learn the facts about climate change using a variety of platforms including academics, public programs, and the arts. We are pleased to support this creative use of the arts in the service of both the humanities and climate change awareness," said Dr. Jack Fishman, a Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences and director of their Center for Environmental Sciences.

Some recent facts about climate change include the following:

"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen." Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report

"Climate Change could drive to extinction as many as one in six animal and plant species. As the planet warms in the future, species will disappear at an accelerating rate." New York Times, Science Times, April 30, 2015, quoting Science Magazine study authored by U. of Connecticut Professor Mark Urban.

About Climate Change Theatre Action:

A collaboration between the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, NoPassport Theatre Alliance, The Arctic Cycle, Theatre Without Borders, and York University, CCTA is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented to coincide with the United Nations COP25.

Following the model pioneered by NoPassport, the organizers asked fifty writers from around the world to write short plays about an aspect of climate change. These plays were made available to producing collaborators who have presented over 100 events so far this season. Collaborators can choose as few or as many of the plays as they want.

Events range from readings in classrooms to fully staged performances and will take place in theatres, high schools, universities, eco-centers, community centers, on radio, and outdoors.

For the full list of events and participating playwrights:

can also be followed via their Facebook Page.

At a Glance:

What: Playhouse Emissions: Climate Change Theatre Action St. Louis 2019

Where: St. Louis University, Xavier Hall, Mark Wilson Theatre
3733 West Pine Mall
St. Louis, MO 63108

When: Friday December 13, 2019, 7:30-9:00 PM

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

There is street parking on Laclede and Lindell and there is visitor parking at the Laclede Parking Garage.

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