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Midnight Madness joins Global Initiative, 'Climate Change Theatre Action'


The MFA Playwriting Program at Ohio University’s weekly short play festival, Midnight Madness, will join Climate Change Theare Action for its Dec. 4 production in the Hahne Theater in Kantner Hall. There will be two performances of Madness with showtimes of 9 and 11 p.m. and each are open and free to the public with limited seating.

Climate Change Theatre Action, a joint venture between the organizations NoPassport, The Arctic Cycle, and Theatre Without Borders is a series of worldwide readings and performances intended to bring awareness to, and foster discussion around, climate change in support of the United Nations 2015 Climate Conference (COP21) taking place Nov. 30 – Dec. 11.

Midnight Madness is part of the practical-based portion of the MFA playwriting program consisting of the weekly, informal production of new work. It begins early in the week with a different writer from the program serving as the week’s producer. The producer selects the theme, style, or concept for the upcoming week’s production. Each writer must then write a three to five minute play based upon that theme, style or concept. Each play is written, cast, and rehearsed throughout the week in preparation for the Friday night, script-in-hand production presented before an audience.

Tyler Whidden, third year playwright and producer of the Dec. 4 production, said joining forces with CCTA was a unique opportunity for the writers and the program. “To be able to use our craft and Madness to help bring attention to a serious issue such as climate change is part of what we want to do as artists,” said Whidden. “This collaboration is a perfect example of us participating in the conversation.”

Chantal Bilodeau, one of the organizers of CCTA, holds three degrees from Ohio University, including her 2001 MFA in Playwriting.

Included in the Dec. 4 Madness, along with the eight MFA playwrights’ plays, will be plays from international playwrights Darrah Cloud, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Koffi Kwahulé, and Bilodeau.

The main goal of Climate Change Theatre Action is to invite as many people as possible, who may not otherwise pay attention to this history-in-the-making event, to participate in a global conversation.

Modeled on previous NoPassport theatre actions focused on gun control (as seen here: http://nopassport.org/gun-control-theatre-action-2013) and the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill (as seen here: http://nopassport.org/wayofwater), CCTA draws on the expertise and resources of local artists, while being global in scope and uniting multiple countries and cultures around a common issue.

All CLIMATE CHANGE THEATRE ACTION events, including the Dec. 4 Madness, will be registered with ArtCOP21 – Cultural Programme for Paris Climate 2015 (http://www.artcop21.com/). 

This event is part of the College of Fine Arts Consortium for Historical and Critical Studies in the Arts, a yearlong initiative organized around a theme. This year’s theme is “Earth Art: Arts in the Anthropocene.”

ABOUT THE CCTA PRODUCERS

NoPassport is a theatre alliance and press founded by playwright Caridad Svich in 2003 committed to the advocacy, promotion, production and publication of creative expressions of diversity and difference in theatre and performance. NoPassport is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas. (www.nopassport.org).

The Arctic Cycle was founded by playwright Chantal Bilodeau in 2009, and uses artistic engagement and advocacy to communicate the urgency of the global climate crisis and encourage people to take action. (www.thearcticcycle.org)

Theatre Without Borders (TWB) is a grass-roots, informal, and volunteer, virtual community that shares information and builds connections between individuals and institutions interested in international theatre exchange. www.theatrewithoutborders.com