Thursday, July 20, 2017

NEXT SHOW: Friday, July 21, 8pm at the 1867 Sanctuary in Ewing

This beautiful building in Ewing was poised for the wrecking ball before a nonprofit swooped in to save and restore it. Now our Climate Cabaret will be performing there this Friday, July 21, with theater sketches and music about another sanctuary, spaceship earth, that also needs some TLC.

The music mixes original jazz with well-known songs recast to make them climate-relevant, as with John Denver's "Country Roads", which in the video below becomes "Let the Sun Take Us Home". The new lyrics were inspired by testimonials from friends about how much they like their electric cars, like the Chevy Volt and Bolt.

In the theater sketches, a guy breaks up with his car, a woman falls for a renaissance atom called Carbon, who turns out to be carrying some baggage (Carbon Dating), and a suburban lawn seeks therapy for feelings of emptiness (Turf Therapy).

Join us in this beautiful space for a show about a beautiful planet. 101 Scotch Rd in Ewing, parking across the street.

Cheryl Anne Jones--acting, vocals
Basha Parmet--acting, vocals
Kitty Getlik--acting
Steve Hiltner--scripts, acting, sax, guitar
Philip Orr--piano, acting (Here's Phil playing a solo on Funky River)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"GROW UP!" -- A Tiny Play About Vast, Empty Lawns

It's a real treat to see other acting troupes performing our scripts! Lawns are energy-intensive, little-used seas of exotic grass kept in a perpetually infantile state. They seem to make little sense, but they are everywhere. Here's a short play in which a real estate agent is showing his client a community called Quiet Acres, with "stately homes (the two seated actors) and vast, empty, green lawns (the two actors lying down in front)." The client's impressed until the lawns themselves start to bicker about who's greener than whom.

Thanks to director Steve Gaissert and actors Jan Applebaum, John Eldis, Frank Falisi, Rachel Friedman, Susan Gaissert, and Sarah Stryker, for a wonderful performance!

By Stephen K. Hiltner, May, 2017
Two actors each represent a suburban lawn, lying on their backs on the stage, about five feet apart, feet towards audience. Immediately behind each is a house, represented by a chair. (OPTIONAL: A homeowner sits on each chair, stiff posture, looking blankly straight ahead.) The lawns tilt their heads up to argue with each other, but otherwise remain prostrate until the last line, when they both sit up and face the audience to utter their last line.
REAL ESTATE AGENT and CLIENT stroll in from side.

AGENT: (to CLIENT, gesturing clearly towards the homes and lawns) Here at Quiet Acres, you’ll find the neighbors are very proud of their stately homes and vast, empty, green lawns.

CLIENT: (impressed) I’d love to live here. It’s so refined, so peaceful, so controlled.
LAWN 1: (in the direction of CLIENT, who is looking elsewhere) I’m greener than her. (gestures towards other lawn)
CLIENT: (turning towards the talking lawn in surprise) What was that?
LAWN 1: I’m greener than her.
LAWN 2: No you’re not.
LAWN 1: Yes I am.
LAWN 2: No you’re not.
LAWN 1: Am so.
LAWN 2: Am not.
CLIENT: Hey, break it up. You both look great.
LAWN 2: (beat) She’s got weeds.
LAWN 1: No I don’t.
LAWN 2: Oh yeah? Well what’s that dandelion doing down there?
LAWN 1: You’re one to talk.
LAWN 2: How dare you?
LAWN 1: Look over there. (pointing to a weed on LAWN 2)
LAWN 2: Eck. Spray me!
LAWNS 1: Spray me first!
LAWN 2: Spray ME!
LAWNS 1: No, ME!
CLIENT: Stop it! (beat) Why don’t you … grow up?

(immediately LAWNS 1 and 2 react by sitting up, facing audience, feet still stretched out in front. AGENT (and HOMEOWNERS, if any) shows a sudden burst of vehemence.)

AGENT, (HOMEOWNERS), LAWNS 1 and 2: Never!!! (LAWNS 1 and 2 immediately return to lying flat on floor. Agent regains pleasant demeanor.)


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Actors Combust On Stage

It was a rare moment in theater when our Climate Cabaret actors demonstrated in slow motion the highly combustible and fateful moment when carbon dioxide is created out of carbon and oxygen. Our two oxygens (the 2 "O"s on the left) were teamed up in that familiar O2 combination that floats around keeping us alive, but carbon (the guy with the "C") was showing some volatility in that chain of fossil carbons he'd been stuck in for what seems like millions of years. When he got close to the pair of oxygens, all it took was a spark and, well,

you know how it goes. Their combustion right then and there was a totally understandable reaction. The carbon combined with the two oxygens to form carbon dioxide, which they all agreed was a total gas. Liberated from his carbon chains, his energy released to drive a piston or heat a home, carbon floated up and away with the two oxygens, ready to bask in the sunlight while they cook the planet.

Theirs was a happy molecule, feeling very stable in that O=C=O configuration. The stability of the world, however, was less assured, and future life on the planet could not be reached for comment.

Next performance, Friday, July 21, at the 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center, 101 Scotch Rd in Ewing. The show in this beautifully restored chapel starts at 8pm. Here's a map.