Tauris, an adaptation of Euripides' Iphegenia at Tauris, is a new full-length play on environmental themes. An epic adventure with music, Tauris engages its audience in questions both personal and social: cultural attitudes toward the environment, the complicated relationship between personal drive and public usefulness and the conflict between ideology and love.
Our project is to produce the world premiere of Tauris at Robert Moss Theatre in New York City as part of the 2013 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, New York's premiere eco-friendly/socially-conscious arts festival.
As part of Planet Connections, theatre productions partner with non-profit organizations to help bring them attention and funding. Our partner organization is New York Loves Mountains (NYLM). Co-founded by Sarah Moon and Stephanie Pistello in 2008, NYLM is a volunteer organization fiscally sponsored by non-profit organization Appalachian Voices that supports the movement to end mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia and New York's connection to it. Today, NYLM is led by a five-person board of directors and Executive Director Paul Ciavarri. NYLM works to build awareness among New Yorkers of the practice of mountaintop removal and supports the movement to end it through means including arts, education and innovation and by partnering with other organizations who share this mission. Their mission is rooted in the belief that no group of Americans should be, nor need be, harmed, poisoned, or sacrificed to power America's electric grid.
History of the Project
Tauris began as an experiment. How do you tackle social issues in a way that's meaningful, but also interesting and truly theatrical? In fall of 2010, I heard an interview with Outside the Wire's Bryan Doerries and Phyllis Kaufman on their work using classical theatre texts to address public health and social issues and was struck by their approach. For a while, I had been working on theatre that addressed environmental concerns, specifically mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia, but was not satisfied with the dramatic realism and historic retelling I was relying on to tell the story. I decided to propose a paper examining the potential of Greek drama to address the social and personal aspects of the issue for the Staging Sustainability Conference at York University the following spring. For my research, I chose two plays, Iphegenia at Tauris by Euripides and Ajax by Sophocles. While both were inspiring and brought up parallels for addressing environmental issues, it was Iphegenia at Tauris that lept to life. I decided to write a full adaptation.
After seeing a staged reading of the play in Phoenix Theatre Ensemble's First Stories Festival at the Wild Project in March, Jenny Fersch came on as director for the full production in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.
Jenny Fersch (DIRECTOR) is a passionate theatre artist, community advocate and activist. Jenny has been working in the theatre in DC, NYC, and NJ in many different capacities since she graduated with a bachelor of music in 2006. An actor at heart, Jenny is an emerging director on the Hudson county and New York scene, most recently credited with directing LaChuisa's The Wild Party and Glory Days at The Theater Company of Hoboken. In between community farming, permaculture gatherings and starting a family, Jenny still performs, produces, stage manages, connects with playwrights on developing new work, and is constantly advocating the communicative and artful power of education through theatre. Jenny is thrilled to join the Planet Connections Festivity again this year after directing Galileo for the festivity in 2011.
Daniel Emond (MUSICAL DIRECTOR and COMPOSER) makes his New York debut with the Planet Connections Theater Festivity, as well as his first undertaking as a musical composer, arranger, music director, and stage musician in the new play Tauris, which he worked on with the playwright in its earliest manifestation as a staged reading at The Wild Project. Daniel has been a folk musician for several years, working as a singer, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist in his summers away from college. His music and links to his website can be found on his reverbnation page (http://www.reverbnation.com/danielemond). He has played a number of comedic roles, including Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, and Luther Billis in South Pacific at the Highfield Theater in Cape Cod. BFA in Acting, University of North Carolina School of the Arts 2012.
Scott Unrein (SOUND and VIDEO DESIGNER) is a composer, teacher, and designer. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and twin sons.
Sarah Moon (PLAYWRIGHT) NYC Playwriting credits: TURTLES (Fresh Produce'd, Arthur Seelen Theatre), TAURIS (First Stories Festival, The Wild Project), BLUE GROUND (SoHo Think Tank 6th Floor), CURRENT CHANGES IN EMPIRE (Dixon Place), BOB DYLAN IN THE BATHROOM (Gallery Players). Boston: TURTLES (Boston Actors Theatre), LOSING THE GAME (Brandeis University), I FELL ASLEEP IN THE PRESIDIO (Center for New Words), Washington D.C.: BLUFF STREET (Essential Theatre Company), THIN RED LINE (D.C. Fringe Fest). Awards include Harold and Mimi Steinberg Award for Best Original Play and Sustainable Practices Recognition Award from Cape Cod Community College. Sarah’s essay “Outside the Frame: Art as Channel for Direct Experience Toward Sustainable Transition” recently appeared in Issue 9 of the Center for Sustainable Practices in the Arts Quarterly. Sarah holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Puget Sound and an MFA in Playwriting from Brandeis University. Currently finishing a Marketing and Communications Apprenticeship at Hartford Stage, she will be entering the MA/PhD program in English Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Connecticut in Fall 2013.
GENIA -- Taylor Aldrich
ORIN -- Bryan Burton
PHILIP -- Tyler Coughlin
DENKSHIFF -- Glenn Beatty
HUNTRESS -- Rachel Ewy
ZHIRELDA -- Erin Layton
GUARD -- Matt Jacques
Where Your Money Goes
Rehearsal space -- $1700
Print Materials -- $250
Artist Stipends -- $1000
Equipment Rental -- $500
Videographer -- $250
Props, Costumes, Set pieces (we can't borrow or make from existing material) -- $300
Risks and challenges
The risks we face in producing Tauris are those one always faces producing live theatre. Actors can drop out, unexpected costs can arise and expensive equipment can get lost or damaged. That said, we have a great team of committed collaborators and supporters that helps us hedge against the various forms of mayhem that can visit a theatrical production. We feel confident that we can meet and overcome any obstacles that arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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