Theater Alaska performers Bostin Christopher, left, and Erin Tripp perform a short play in front of an audience at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. Theater Alaska partnered with environmental group 350Juneau to put on a Climate Fair for a Cool Planet, which drew over 100 people. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Theater Alaska performers Bostin Christopher, left, and Erin Tripp perform a short play in front of an audience at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. Theater Alaska partnered with environmental group 350Juneau to put on a Climate Fair for a Cool Planet, which drew over 100 people. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Juneauites use performances to urge climate action

Local activists highlight environment with plays, songs and dancing

Over 100 people turned out Saturday for theater, arts, ice cream and environmental activism at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park in support of reducing carbon emissions. A joint project from environmental group 350Juneau and Theater Alaska, the Climate Fair for a Cool Planet featured environmental-themed performances from local actors and students.

The fair was an effort to combine awareness about what 350Juneau board member Michael Tobin called climate catastrophe, pointing to recent events like wildfires in the Lower 48 and flooding in Germany, with local arts and family-friendly environmental education. In addition to the performances, fair organizers set up an “invention station” for small children to build new objects out of recycled materials.

“It’s a way for kids to be creative without using creative materials,” said Linda Torgensen, who was running the station. “It’s trying to teach them don’t throw anything away you don’t have to because it can be used in another way.”

Performances included an original dance, several short plays and a theatrical recitation of environmental activist Greta Thunberg speeches by three Juneau students.

[Live theater meets climate catastrophe-focused message in new event]

Theater Alaska director Christina Apathy said she chose pieces that were very different from one another and touched on different issues relating to climate change.

“It was intentional that we chose a piece that included indigenous philosophy and from around the world,” Apathy told the Empire. “We like to travel even if were not physically traveling around the globe.”

One of the plays, “A Miraculous Party,” was written by Juneau-born Conor Lendrum, another came from a playwright in New Zealand and the piece “Blood on the Leaves” was written by Madeline Sayet, a citizen of the Mohegan Tribe and the executive director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program.

The fair was the second collaboration between 350Juneau and Theater Alaska, Apathy said, and while there were no concrete plans in the works she expected the two groups would partner again.

“We think that theater can really augment the message of things that are happening such as climate change,” Apathy said. “It’s really nice when theater moves from entertainment into the realm of being an excuse to talk about social issues.”

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Sept. 18

Here’s what to expect this week.

A Lucas White (21) block buys Jarrell Williams (1) more room to work during a 49-32 win against Service High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Juneau cooks up a conference title

Huskies are back-to-back Cook Inlet Conference champs after lopsided win.

An Alaska judge has ruled that a state lawmaker affiliated with the Oath Keepers, Rep. David Eastman, shown in this February 2022 photo, may stay on the general election ballot in November even though he's likely ineligible to hold public office  (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Judge keeps Oath Keepers lawmaker on November ballot

Judge ordered delaying certifying the result of the race until a trial scheduled for December.

Jim Scheufelt, right, explains how his newly purchased Ford Mustang Mach-E operates to a couple of visitors at the ninth annual Juneau EV EBIKE Roundup on Saturday. He said he has always driven Fords because his father worked for the company, but decided this year to make the switch from gas to electric. He said his wife drives a similar model and their son an electric Ford Focus, making them “an all-EV household.” (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
EV owners rally ’round rain, resourcefulness and solar rays

Ninth annual event celebrates Juneau’s electric vehicle growth as one of fastest in U.S.

Water rushes down Front Street, just a half block from the Bering Sea, in Nome, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok moved into the region. It was a massive storm system — big enough to cover the mainland U.S. from the Pacific Ocean to Nebraska and from Canada to Texas. It influenced weather systems as far away as California, where a rare late-summer storm dropped rain on the northern part of the state, offering a measure of relief to wildfire crews but also complicating fire suppression efforts because of mud and loosened earth. (AP Photo / Peggy Fagerstrom)
Repair work begins in some Alaska towns slammed by storm

ANCHORAGE — There’s been significant damage to some roads and homes in… Continue reading

j
Sniffen indicted on sexual abuse counts

Sniffen will be arraigned Monday.

In this undated file photo the Trans-Alaska pipeline and pump station north of Fairbanks, Alaska is shown. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
Oil price drop endangers plan to fund Alaska schools a year early

If oil prices fall, amount is automatically reduced to an amount the state can afford. At

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau Police Department announces technology and reporting updates

Emergeny services and direct reporting will not be interrupted

Most Read