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PLAYS IN TIME

THE BEEKEEPER'S DAUGHTER, PROPHECY, ANOTHER LIFE AND EXTREME WHETHER

Plays in Time collects four plays by Karen Malpede set during influential events from the late twentieth century to the present: the Bosnian war and rape camps; the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Israel’s 2006 bombardment of Lebanon; 9/11 and the US torture program; and the heroism of climate scientists facing attack from well-funded climate change deniers. In each play in this anthology, nature, poetry, ritual, and empathy are presented in contrast to the abuse of persons and world. Despite their serious topics, the plays are full of humor and distinctively entertaining personalities.
 
Each play was developed by Theater Three Collaborative for production in New York and internationally in Italy, Australia, London, Berlin, and Paris.

June 2017
 


Imagine Egypt: Cairo Today
by karen malpede

Cairo is awash in plastics, the water bottles from which everybody drinks, and worse, cheap knock-off-clothing, sneakers, flip-flops and household items imported from China spread out by peddlers on the streets. Western in design, ill-made by workers in Asia working for starvation wages, they sit waiting to be sold to Cairo’s poor.

Twenty years ago when I was last in Cairo and there was a bustling tourist trade; the street markets were of hand-crafted items, perfume oils and hand-blown perfume bottles, pearl in-laid jewelry boxes, Egyptian cotton simple scarves, Arabic books. Now these things are gone from view and it’s as if one wanders through a massive, out-door discount mall—piles of t-shirts with logos, and the like. The West has come to Cairo through China. Here is globalization and free trade for the poor. It benefits no one, destroys the old craft-based economy and vastly increases what gets thrown away.

Click here to read more.

Oct 2016

Closing night of the Theater Festival: George Bartenieff, me, Yasmin, Farrag, a Festival organizer.

Closing night of the Theater Festival: George Bartenieff, me, Yasmin, Farrag, a Festival organizer.

Dalia’s organic farm outside Cairo

In the desert after my horse back ride.

In the desert after my horse back ride.


ON WATCHING: ECO-POETRY AND DESIRE IN “THE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER”
by KAREN MALPEDE

I sit in the back of the theater; that way I can watch the audience watching the play I have written and directed. I can monitor their restless movements, observe if anyone drops off to sleep, or fiddles with a phone, lighting up and distracting the immediate area. I can squirm with every squirm and wonder how or if I might make an adjustment to the staging, the acting or the text that would eliminate each moment of inattention directing any wondering mind back to the stage action.

Click here to read the full article.

June 2016


The stirring and emotional revival, The Beekeeper’s Daughter, from playwright Karen Malpede presents both the best and worst faces of humanity in the story of an American family and a refugee from Bosnia. While this small clan seems to live in paradise on an island in the Adriatic, a brutal war is exploding only a few hundred miles away and a daughter’s return from the violence with a guest who has been deeply affected, brings familial tensions to the surface. The new production is directed by the playwright.

Click here to read the full article.

June 2016


'Karen Malpede Imagines a Better World in The Beekeeper's Daughter'

"We are facing a crisis of consciousness. As Robert says in Beekeeper: “I want to cry out, change form, change form. It takes but an instant to see the world in a new way.”

Read the full interview in American Theatre Magazine

May 2016


In the February issue of American Theatre Magazine Teresa Eyring praises the art and importance of Extreme Whether in its New York and Paris productions.

In the February issue of American Theatre Magazine Teresa Eyring praises the art and importance of Extreme Whether in its New York and Paris productions.

"How's the Weather?"

by Teresa Eyring

(ex. dir. of Theatre Communications Group) in her monthly column, p.6

"Members of our theatre community have also been at the forefront of addressing this global issue. Because of the varied nature of our form, we are blessed with multiple strengths and platforms from which to work. First, there is theatre as thing of beauty in and of itself--an art form that is made and shared collectively, and that can be a focal point for reflection and discussion that leads to action. A prime example: Theater Three Collaborative's production production of Extreme Whether, by Karen Malpede, is an American family drama involving a major climate scientist and his twin sister, a publicist for the energy industry. The play was performed in a sold-out run in New York City in 2014. It was part of the ArtCOP21 arts festival this past December, in a collaboration with the Swiss theatre company Cie de Facto. Directed by Malpede and Nathalie Sandoz (the latter also acted), the play was performed in French and English in Paris, where it was enthusiastically received."

Click here to read the full article.

Feb 2016


The news from Paris - ArtCop 21

After the show (l. to r.) Nathalie Sandoz, Julien Muller, Karen Malpede, Dominique Hollier, Benjamin Knobil, Kathleen Purcell, May Royer, and George Bartenieff.

After the show (l. to r.) Nathalie Sandoz, Julien Muller, Karen Malpede, Dominique Hollier, Benjamin Knobil, Kathleen Purcell, May Royer, and George Bartenieff.

we would not have wanted to be anywhere else

Below are excerpts from Karen's blog dishing out the details of the Paris Cop21 and TTC's role creating climate change culture.

COP21: In the hands of its people alive right now lies the fate of the earth and all her creatures for the rest of time...

By Karen Malpede

Democracy works but democracy is hard work. It demands involvement from the entire civil society in order to make its way. This is not just my understanding but is that of virtually everyone who was in Paris for the COP21...

...Like the Greek theater that defined democracy, or the Shakespearean that gave us entry into the unconscious, climate change theater is classic in position and intent. Like the Greek and Renaissance theaters, climate change theater stands at the nexus of two realities—an old, wasteful, violent known world, and a newly felt, and sometimes already lived, sustainable world of insight and connection between self and others across racial, national and species boundaries, a remaking of the individual as newly responsible for a living world....
Click here to read more from this blog post.

Dec 2015


ArtCop21 - Theater Three Collaborative
ArtCop21 - Theater Three Collaborative

 

EcoFeminism at Cop21

By Karen Malpede

Few people remember the ecofeminist movement of the 1980s, spearheaded by my friends Ynestra King, Starhawk, Grace Paley, Dorothy Dinnerstein and others. Many of the young activists from around the world living with me at Place to B in Paris for the duration of the Cop21 would have to wait decades before being born. But others like Casey Camp-Horinek, Ponca Nation elder, who spoke Monday at the Women on the Front Lines of Climate Change event, were at Wounded Knee and marched with Ceasar Chavez...

 ...The Indigenous women who commanded the attention of the room full of women and some men all day on Monday refer to each one of us as “my relative”.

“My relative, we can save you. We can show you how to survive on Mother Earth, if only you will listen to us.”...

Click here to read more of from this article.

Dec 2015


MOBY-DICK OUT LOUD
ON THE WAY TO THE PARIS CLIMATE CONFERENCE

By KAREN MALPEDE

I’ve been reading Moby-Dick out loud at night, slowly, with my partner. We were on chapter ninety-three–in which the castaway Pip loses sanity after being left adrift alone in the ocean for too long while Stubb and the others rush to harpoon a whale (not the white one)–the night the Paris attacks took place.

The book is a great parable, certainly of American–perhaps of all–national life, in which the chase after the Leviathan (as Melville calls them) destroys everyone but the lowliest boatswain narrator, who miraculously lives to tell the tale. Someone must survive...Click here to read more from Karen's blog.

Nov 2015

EXTINCTION: THE ILLUSION OF ABUNDANCE

BY KAREN MALPEDE

Reflections on The Paris Cop21, The Sixth Extinction, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, and Empire of Necessity

I've been thinking about extinction, to be precise: the relationship of abundance to extinction, in the run-up to the twenty-first United Nations Conference on Climate Change, the Conference of the Parties (COP21) and in the wake of publication of several significant books.
Click here to read more from Karen's blog.

Sept 2015


Warscapes podcast: Karen Malpede Challenges Torture With Theater

Mary Von Aue from Warscapes asked Karen some hard-hitting, revealing questions about writing and directing "Another Life". Karen talks about the U.S. torture program and how it was used to lead us into war abroad and to create fear at home. Scenes from TTC's 2013 production are interspersed. We are pleased to have our mission of creating powerful theater to address crucial social concerns recognized on this international publication.

Click to read the rest of the article.


Writing On: A Dialogue Between Jan Clausen and Karen Malpede

Although both had been feminist writers and peace activists living in Brooklyn, NY for many years, playwright Karen Malpede and poet/novelist Jan Clausen didn’t know each other very well until they spent a night in jail together following a civil disobedience arrest at the time of the Iraq invasion in 2003, after which they gradually became better acquainted with each other’s work. 

Click here for more of this dialogue

Mar 2015


 
 

Wider influence of the fossil fuel industry on culture and charities

Natural history museums are not the only US cultural institutions influenced by climate change deniers (Report, 24 March). US theatre is doing a good job of censorship of plays that attempt a new aesthetic reaction to our planetary emergency. 

Click here for more news of Extreme Whether featured in this article

Mar 2015


Quote:  "I encourage you to see “Extreme Whether,” a  pioneering and brave effort by playwright and director Karen Malpede to use theater to explore the clashing passions around human-driven global warming and our fossil fuel fixation. " - Andrew Revkin

Click here to read more of the article

Oct 2014


The Battle for Climate Justice Gets Some Drama, and a Six-legged Frog
Click here to read more of Alex Ellefson's article

Oct 2014


CLIMATE SCIENTIST VS. CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS

Malpede has addressed other divisive issues in her dramas, such as genetic engineering and the U.S. torture program. Press notes point out that she has "adopted the Ibsenist paradigm (seen in An Enemy of the People and Rosmerholm) of setting struggles of the public interest as conflicts within a family."

Aug 2014


HOWLROUND - CLIMATE SCIENCE'S CHALLENGE TO ARTIST by Karen Malpede

Relatively recently, the climate modeling of climate scientists has allowed us to see into the future. While we don’t know everything we know enough to ask if we wish to damage the planet beyond repair in this the new Anthropocene era, when the earth’s ecosystems are being altered by human beings at an unprecedented rate.

Jan 2014


WHERE ART MEETS SCIENCE - CLIMATE THEATER IS TRENDING 

Karen Malpede of Theater Three Collaborative sheds light on the intersection of theater and climate change, giving us an inside look at "Extreme Whether," a new play that chronicles the journey of climate change. *Art by Luba Lukova

Jan 2014


SKEPTICAL SCIENCE ARTICLE with Jennifer Francis Ph. D.

New York was jolted into awareness of the scope and severity of climate change in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and Malpede is firm in her commitment to spread that understanding.

I knew I had to write a play about climate changeClimate scientists have been attacked, threatened, vilified, sued, and all for telling us the truth we need to hear. Our globe is heating up. And we had better change our behavior, now. This is a great adventure story: a story of bravery and commitment to saving life on earth. I wrote Extreme Whether with passion and speed, as if I were channeling the voice of the earth.

Aug 2013


THE NEW YORK TIMES SCIENCE SECTION: THE SCAN

THEATER 

Extreme Whether. A play by Karen Malpede. Theater for the New City. 155 First Avenue. Reading April 8 at 7 p.m. (with James Hansen) and April 13 at 8 p.m. $5.  

A new “eco-drama” about climate change will have two readings this month. Set in upstate New York during the record-hot summers of 2004 and 2012, the play pits brother against sister in a bitter debate about the future of the planet. In one corner is John Bjornson, a composite of famous climatologists. In the other is his twin sister, Jeanne, an energy spokeswoman married to a skeptical lobbyist. “The play poses this most difficult question of whether we can act in our own defense” when faced with a global threat, says the playwright, Karen Malpede, a twin herself. After the reading on Monday, James Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who is retiring from the agency this week, will speak to the audience on how “we are nearly out of time, if we want to avoid creating a situation that will be out of control for today’s young people.” 

April 2, 2013 


FESTIVAL OF CONSCIENCE TALK BY DR. JAMES HANSEN

 "To Save Our Planet" followed the April 8, 2013 reading of Extreme Whether to an audience of nearly 150 people at Theater for the New City. 


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DAVID SWANSON REVIEW

David Swanson reviews the script of Extreme Whether in The Humanist Magazine

"Extreme Whether, a new play by the brilliant Karen Malpede tells a personal story in which everything is also political."


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INTERVIEW WITH DR. FRANCIS

 

Dr. Jennifer Francis explains her cutting-edge theories of Arctic ice melt and extreme weather and talks about the connection between art and understanding climate change.

 

July 2013


HOW TO KNOW THE UNBEARABLE..

is a skill we need to massively acquire now as we struggle to comprehend the reality of global warming, sea level rise, and future extreme weather events.

 

Fall 2012


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EXTREME WHETHER IS AN OFFICIAL EVENT OF CLIMATE WEEK NYC

Check it out

Sept 10 2013 @ 2pm


TALKING TO KAREN MALPEDE: A CULTURAL DEMOCRACY IN THE PERFORMING ARTS INTERVIEW  

The Brooklyn Commune’s Cultural Democracy and Representation Team, led by Kyoung H. Park, has designed an artist survey to invite artists to share their experiences working in the field in order to open up public discussions regarding diversity and inclusion in the performing arts.

 

Aug 26, 2013 


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Karen Malpede tells the story of Another Life from its inception in 2009 to London, 2013: "Experience the Difference: The American Anti-Torture Play Another Life Goes to London"

 

July 2013


TRAGEDY, CATHARSIS, AND CLEARER SIGHT: KAREN MALPEDE ON "ANOTHER LIFE". 

"I walked into Another Life expecting to be brainwashed by left wing liberal proselytizing.  But the play’s solid foundation in facts left me feeling both shocked by the history and inspired to reflect on its significance." -Michael DelPriori

 

 

May 23, 2013 

Courtesy of Beatriz Schiller


Dramatizing the US Torture Program

We're featured in this issues of TORTURE: Asian and Global Perspectives

A bi-monthly magazine on the issue of torture. Torture is often used by authoritarian regimes as a means of maintaining control and suppressing dissent. Our policy is against any form of torture and creates a common platform to everyone in Asia and around the globe, to come forward to speak out against torture. ISSN 2304-134X (print) | ISSN 2304-1358 (online)