23 March 2023 Fault Lines Opens April 13
Student-devised performance tackling climate change to take the stage in McDonald Theatre.
Inspired by the Neo-futurist approach to theatre that asks audiences and performers to be and recognize who we are, where we are, and what we are doing, Fault Lines is a student-devised performance about climate change. Created as a series of vignettes that study the relationship between humans and Earth, Fault Lines invites audiences to participate in an evolving contemplation of how to activate change before it is too late.
The concept for Fault Lines arose during Professor of Theatre H. May’s THTR 340: Advanced Acting Styles – Devising for Performance class in Fall 2022 where students studied a variety of approaches to writing and creating theatre through embodied explorations. Over the course of the semester, students in that class (Lucas Amaral ’23, Lillian Davis ’24, Derrielle Faulkner ’25, Izzy Huelgas ’25, Jafri ’24 and July Winters ’24) created a short play about climate change from those explorations. In February 2023, May held auditions for a cast for the HWS Theatre production of Fault Lines and the process began anew. Although the script created by the company of Fault Lines differs from that created by THTR 340 students, both share the perspective that a climate catastrophe is on the immediate horizon and that it is too large a problem to wrap up in a tidy narrative. Instead, the company of Fault Lines embraces the messiness of the moment in hopes of generating dialogue and building community. While the performance is scripted in various degrees of tightness, the performance is designed to be shaped by the audience each night.
Audience members and performers will share the same playing space reflective of our shared positionality on the planet. Audiences who attend performances of Fault Lines can expect to be invited into discussion and contemplation in an intimate setting that provides space for participation or observation according to the desires of each audience member.
May notes that this decision stems from the fact that climate change is having a profound and immediate impact on our world, and that we have to talk about it together.
“The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released a report finding that if societies don’t immediately make drastic changes to the way we use the Earth’s resources, we will cross the 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit threshold by 2030 and see climate catastrophe so extreme that humans will be unable to adapt. The same report noted that we have all the information and resources that we need, but we have to come together and decide to take action – especially those of us who do not yet feel the dire immediate impact on our quality of life,” May notes. “Fault Lines provides the opportunity to do this on a micro level.”
Fault Lines runs April 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. with an additional performance on April 15 at 2 p.m. in McDonald Theatre of the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are free and can be reserved in advance through the HWS Theatre Box Office.
Members of the Fault Lines company:
DIRECTOR: Heather May
Students: Samari Brown ’24, Anthony Bray ’23, Lillian Davis ’24, A King ’25, Eliyah Roberts ’24.
MCs: Associate VP for Advancement Jared Weeden ’91, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Maggie Werner.
SET & LIGHTING DESIGN AND TECHNICAL DIRECTION: Ed Hallborg.
SOUND DESIGN: Kelly Walker.
COSTUME DESIGN: Katharine Tarkulich.
STAGE MANAGER: Lauren Davidson ’26.
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGERS: Ryan Brady and Georgia Graham.
DRAMATURG: Jafri ’24.
In the photo above, Professor of Theatre H May leads rehearsal for “Fault Lines” in McDonald Theatre.