While on Tablas Island in the Philippines on New Years Day 2019, I created a wish list of things I wanted to accomplished. This included learning how to write and produce radio dramas. Later that month I started an on-line course in radio drama and wrote my first script, Bigger Love.
It is about a gay couple in their 20’s who suddenly need to house a gaggle of LGBTQ friends and acquaintances after yet another big storm in NYC. It’s 2028 and many people are moving out of the city. Kyle wants to leave, especially with the stress of an overcrowded apartment, but Joey feels the need to stay and do something for the community.
I submitted the first scene to the Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA.) Every time the UN has one of their COP gatherings to discuss climate change, CCTA selects 50 short plays that are then read at venues around the world during the months leading up to the COP meeting. They selected Bigger Love, and it has been read at multiple venues in the USA and beyond.
My goal was to produce it as a radio play, and in this episode of Bubble&Squeak podcast, I did just that. With permission from Marcus Youssef, another CCTA playwright, I also adapted his play, Dust.
Every staging of plays from the CCTA 2019 season also encourages audience members to engage in some sort of specific climate action. Lots of people think that means lowering their carbon footprint or writing a letter to congress.
These are fine things, and there are millions of other ways we can do climate work including supporting LGBTQ community–in particular transgender and non-binary people and organizations. The healthier, well supported, and politically free a group of people are before extreme weather events, the more resilient and safe they are before, during, and after those events.
The action I call on you to consider is to make a donation to the Trans Justice Funding Project. They have given millions of dollars in small and large grants to trans and non-binary organizations. It is run by trans/non-binary people for trans/and non-binary people.
Part One An original radio play commissioned by Climate Change Theatre Action. They selected 50 short plays by 50 playwrights. This autumn groups around the world organized readings of these plays to coincide with COP 2019, the UN Climate Change Conference. You will hear me perform a radio adaptation of Dust by Marcus Youssef.
Inspiration: Reading Yuval Hariri’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and Shoshona Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. Feeling convinced that the impact of digital and bio technologies is primarily defined by our species’ (preternatural?) devotion to capitalism as an organizing principle. And remembering that its consequences are being visisted on our planet by schmucks just like me (us?). –Marcus Youssef.
Part Two My very own Climate Change Theatre Action play, Bigger Love. It is set in the New York City apartment of a gay couple sometime in the near future. Jordan Sanderson and Israel Collazo, students at Susquehanna University, play the parts of Kyle and Joey.
What is a queer response to climate change? Who are the climate action figures of the future? As impacts magnify, how will our empathy and creative caring for each other also increase?
Part Three a Sound Slice created for us by listener Daniel Gonzales.
Featured photo: Miss Gay Santa trans pageant Tablas Island, Philippines (P Toscano)