May 2nd 2015
While I have always enjoyed historical fiction, a narrative that throws the reader back into time, some of my most enjoyable reading experiences have been when an author has thrown me into the future or into a world of his or her own imagining. Dune, The Lord of the Rings, the work of Isaac Asimov, Heinlein etc. are a few excellent examples. Films relish and exploit this form but the theatre not so much. In my own work, Dib and Dob and the Journey Home and Head à Tête are set in imaginary worlds with, in one case, imaginary languages but my current work on draft three of Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia is stretching my expositional skill’s to the max.
The world of this play is set in 2080 in a land called Grace which is what the Greek empire of antiquity morphed into when their ‘Golden Age’ never ended. What is more important is that this world has done nothing to reduce climate emissions and so the “weather” has gone nuts. Storms suddenly appear and then vanish and temperatures rise to hot and plummet to freezing in minutes. All very actable onstage. But what is interesting is that the characters never comment on these extremes. They have, incrementally, become accustomed because, well, what can you do? “It’s the weather?” Wild birds have disappeared. ‘Wild water’ is untouchable. All farming is done indoors. It is, I think, a fair prophetic vision if we (we writ globally) do nothing about climate change and it certainly appears we are not. We will adapt. We will forget what has been lost (the East Coast cod fishery for example) and we will live as best we can. Now it’s easy for me to explain this to you in prose but in dialogue it must be implied and that has been my challenge this week.
Still experimenting with radical acts of gratitude (“thank you for reading!”) and never passing a pan handler without handing (watch out for Bay and Bloor!).
Have a good weekend.