Can Theater Change Climate Change? Watch Facing the Rising Tide Theater Festival

Below are videos of the five plays of the Facing the Rising Tide theater festival, organized by the New Group Theater with the Natural Resources Defense Council. In each video, a discussion follows the Zoom play. Today at 6 p.m., there will be a panel discussion, also streamed live. (See bottom video) The New Group includes a page of Climate Action Resources on its website


by Charles Gershman, directed by Arpita Mukherjee. Streamed live on July 20, 2020

Climate refugee Abdullah and his wife and son operate a bodega in New York City in the future. When a refugee from a different land tries to buy out his shop, a strange negotiation erupts as the realities of a changing planet bear down on a new kind of immigrant.

The reading begins at around 10:25 and ends at 1:30:00


by Erika Dickerson-Despenza.Directed by Candis C. Jones. Streamed live on July 21, 2020

Ruth coaxes her dementia-ridden mother, Magalee, to sell Shadowland, the family business and New Orleans’ first air-conditioned dancehall/hotel for Black people. But as Hurricane Katrina begins her ruin, Ruth is forced to wrestle with all that she’s ready to let go. This play is billed as the first of a 10-play cycle about Hurricane Katrina.

That Heaven’s Vault Should Crack

by Rae Binstock. Directed by Kareem Fahmy. Streamed live on July 22, 2020

This series of short plays imagines what it would be like for people to throw their lives into upheaval, as Noah before the flood.

Mother of Exiles

by Jessica Huang, Directed by Seonjae Kim. To be streamed live on July 23, 2020 at 7 p.m.

The play follows the Loi family’s journey through America across 200 years—as they are ushered along by the spirits of their ancestors. In 1898 California, a pregnant Eddie Loi faces deportation. In 1998 Miami, her grandson Braulio accidentally summons her spirit while patrolling the border. In 2098 somewhere on the ocean, their descendants try to survive.

Mambo Sauce

By Daniella De Jesús, Directed by Machel Ross. To be streamed live on July 24, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Living on Cargill Island isn’t that bad. You can share a Mambo Dog with a friend, get high with an alien, score a golden ticket to heaven and even visit the Cargill Zoo – that is if you don’t mind that the animals are dying. Even for Cargill, the withering zoo animals are rather peculiar, posing a new kind of environmental crisis for the neighborhood. As residents investigate what’s behind it all and try to adjust to the new realities, they uncover things so ugly and human and bizarre, you couldn’t make it up

New Group Now Panel: Climate Arts Activision

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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