As we enter our 2010-2011 season at The Bushwick Starr, we’d like to introduce some of our friends who will be working with us on our new Big Green Theater environmental education program.
This month, we’d like you to meet Superhero Clubhouse’s Captain, Jeremy Pickard, and First Mate, Maria Portman Kelly.
Superhero Clubhouse is partnering with The Bushwick Starr on our Big Green Theater initiative, working with the young writers at Still Waters in a Storm to create new plays inspired by local and global environmental issues. The plays will be produced at the Bushwick Starr in April 2011 using green theater methods.
Superhero Clubhouse works to create art that is ecologically inspired, using theater as a resource to ignite dialogue about the environment. Jeremy Pickard says, “We want to make theatrical events that are inspired by the natural world, uniting science and the arts.”
The company got its start with Jeremy’s play Uranus (a play about waste). The play was a success, and Superhero Clubhouse was formed. Jeremy, working as Captain of the company, went on to create an entire series of planet plays, which include Neptune (a play about water), Mercury (a play about poison), and Venus (a play about energy). Further planet plays are in development.
When Superhero Clubhouse learned about the Big Green Theater program, Jeremy and Maria contacted Artistic Directors Sue and Noel at The Bushwick Starr. Jeremy explains, “We [at SHC] are striving to create a green theater process – that idea of creating theater in more efficient and sustainable ways is a great initiative that a lot of theaters from Broadway to small companies around the country are embracing, but there aren’t a lot of companies doing work inspired by the environment. When I saw that The Bushwick Starr was doing it, and interested in having children write these plays, we were very interested in working with them. “
First Mate Maria Portman Kelly is a teaching artist, and Jeremy has done work with children over the years, so the partnership is a good fit. Maria and Jeremy both say that they look forward to working with the Still Waters in a Storm writers, mentoring them as they create plays from a fresh perspective. In addition to helping the young playwrights learn about environmental issues and green theater methods, Superhero Clubhouse, working with Education Director Joy Jones, will bring in guest experts to talk about numerous ecological issues.
The Big Green Theater group will meet every Tuesday at Still Waters for the next three months, and rehearsals of the new plays will begin in February. In addition to playwriting, the Still Waters artists will also be invited to participate in certain aspects of the production such as performing and/or helping design the pieces; the option is open for them to be involved at every level in bringing the plays to life.
William Shakespeare wrote prolifically about the natural world, about its power and beauty, and about our connection to the earth. Now, these young writers will follow in his footsteps.
For more about Superhero Clubhouse, visit http://superheroclubhouse.org.