How on earth do we navigate our rapidly changing world? What are the solutions to the multitude of issues we are now facing? Will enough of us rise up to the challenges and provide the leadership we seek for the future?
These were the central questions the Byron Youth Theatre (BYT) cast and Director, Lisa Apostolides started asking after presenting their original theatre production, ‘How on Earth: Part 1’ back in August.
Part 1 was a big success, helping many young people to make sense of what was happening in 2020. The team felt inspired to jump straight into creating Part 2, supported by a NRCF Community Grant, the Country Arts Support Program and Regional Arts NSW.
The result is an original production focusing on the complex issues of eco-anxiety and ecological despair, performed to both schools and community members at the Brunswick Picture House last month. Over 270 school students were able to attend special viewings of the performance, with an additional 200 community members attending sold out shows over two nights.
“Climate change is as much a psychological and social problem, as it is an environmental or ecological catastrophe. Our community and especially our youth need strategies to deal with these issues during this time of rapid change,” said Lisa.
“I started having visions of geodesic domes and had sourced an incredible piece of music called Temple of Silence by George Deuter which I played continuously while I poured over all the resource materials BYT and I have gathered from our research, interviews and connections with the Joyality Project.”
“It has been an extraordinary process to create a performance starting in lock down via zoom sessions. Using specific interview questions, we all shared our experiences, our hopes, fears and dreams for our beautiful world and our place in it,” said Lisa.
“We didn’t have all the answers to those big questions, but we understood that it is how we greet and respond to each and every moment in our lives that makes a difference. That is how the script was born.”
The final production was a huge team effort, supported by a broad group of individuals and organisations including Shue Ge, Renaye Elder, John Boswell, News Earth Records, Brunswick Picture House and Motion Circus to name a few. A central feature of the set, a Da Vinci bridge (pictured), was created by local man Derek Spice. The bridge represents a symbol of crossing over – a connection, support and union between two distinct realms.
“I have never been so supported by such as extraordinary team of amazingly talented, dedicated people. We are so grateful to everyone involved in this production! Watching the school audiences and then our community members being moved, connecting and inspired by each performance was a dream come true!” said Lisa.
“Our deepest gratitude to you, all NRCF supporters for enabling us to produce our social action theatre by young people for young people and our community. We look forward to sharing more with you in 2021,” she said.