The Planet Plays
A series of nine interconnected stories that together form a new mythology exploring humanity in the context of climate change.
In 1780 England, William Herschel and his sister Caroline are building homemade telescopes in an attempt to reach the future and an uncatalogued star. In the future on the trash planet Uranus, two siblings are traveling backwards in time in an attempt to re-collect everything they have ever thrown away. A tale of family and progress inspired by contemporary problems of consumerism, Grimms’ Hansel and Gretel, and the ancient Greek origin story. MORE HERE
On the morning of his birthday, an employee of Enrich Water Co. hears the voice of a dying god in his bottle of water, and soon finds himself transforming into a fish. Meanwhile, a young woman undertakes a journey across the warming ocean to find her lost brother. A tale inspired by H.C. Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and The Snow Queen exploring sacrifice, sea level rise, and the world water crisis. MORE HERE
In 1780 Danbury, Connecticut, Zoe Benedict has stumbled upon a process by which to make hats using a nitrate of mercury. Renewed with revolution and purpose, Zoe launches the first American hatting industry. Business goes mad-- but so does Zoe, as the mind of the man and the environment of Connecticut turn toxic. An adventure based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories, Danbury legend, and the problem of irreversible contamination. MORE HERE
Jack and Rhea have inherited a farm. Newly 30 and newly wed, their bucolic way of life is a welcome change, until three mysterious seeds put the fate of the farm —and their marriage— at stake. Now the couple must piece together the past in order to make peace with the future. A riff on the myth of Kronos, Jack and the Beanstalk, genetic agriculture, and our contemporary relationship to food. MORE HERE
A couple faced with the possibility of having a child embark on separate journeys through time and space. An immersive event exploring the personal, social and environmental questions surrounding contemporary issues of overpopulation, created in collaboration with audience members and international artists inspired by the Voyager Golden Record project. MORE HERE
Displaced Appalachians resettled on Mars face a familiar dilemma when their leader initiates a questionable mining operation. A dance-theater event adapted from a graphic novel and inspired by the history of Appalachian coal mining. MORE HERE
In the distant past, refugees fleeing the warming planet Venus attempt to cross the border of a new world. A dance-theater duet inspired by the stories of Ursula K. Le Guin exploring migration caused by climate change. MORE HERE
Before retreating to the planet Jupiter, a young tycoon overhauls the entire energy system on Earth. His imposed vision promises to halt climate change, but demands costly sacrifices from all citizens of the world. A duet inspired by Frankenstein and energy policy. MORE HERE
PLUTO is an allegory about extinction... or it used to be, maybe. Three humans attempt to give a presentation about the remains of a play that no longer exists. The fragments seem to suggest the story of a unicorn, a hunter, and a wizard, all struggling to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Facing similar dilemmas, the three humans reenact their findings, searching for hope among the bones. MORE HERE
The Planet Plays have been the ongoing project Superhero Clubhouse since 2007. By 2017, all nine plays will have been produced at various performance venues and found-spaces in NYC and beyond, including LEED-certified, carbon-neutral, and outdoor spaces. The series in its entirety will premiere in 2020.
The Planet Plays are produced in draft form, allowing the plays to evolve as new social and scientific understanding comes to light; they change as the world changes.
Every play is a multi-disciplinary event, utilizing music, movement and oral storytelling. Every play is created collaboratively, often with dancers, musicians, graphic illustrators and environmental scientists of diverse gender, age, ability and country of origin.
Every play is created using sustainable building materials, efficient energy and other ecological design techniques. The plays are limited to a strict 60-90min run-time, in an effort to reduce energy spent in tech and performance.
Though each of the nine plays can exist independently of each other, the full mythology is only experienced when they are put together.
When produced as a series, the plays are intended to be performed with a company of fifteen performers and a small team of directors, designers, and managers.
We are currently seeking a venue, presenting partners, and producers for the 2020 Planet Play Festival, when all nine plays will be produced together for the first time over the course of four long weekends outside of New York City. Write to Festival Director Marina McClure with interest or ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org