Review by Andrea Flewelling
60 min / Comedy / PG
A satire about the human dynamics behind climate change, Emissions: A Climate Comedy brings us the tale of a modern Adam and Eve (yes, that Adam and Eve) set to the musical stylings of Scott Irving of the PepTides.
This is the first play written by Ottawa-area playwright Ann Cavlovic. Cavlovic, an environmentalist herself, was inspired to write the play after being called “immoral” by a fellow (albeit more aggressive) environmentalist for buying a car. Recently interviewed on CBC Radio One’s In Town and Out, Cavlovic explains that her goal with Emissions: A Climate Comedy is not to preach her views but rather to get the audience thinking about the issues. Emissions: A Climate Comedy canvases many of the complex issues central to the climate change debate by using effective analogies and subtly critiquing some of the less effective and alienating environmentalist practices out there.
The play commences with Adam and Eve, having already destroyed one paradise, in a raucous dispute which ultimately results in the destruction of their new paradise. Adam and Eve chose to go their separate ways with Adam adopting an “I’ll do better on my own” approach and Eve favouring a community-based collective approach.
Our modern Adam and Eve are then featured in a series of scenes portraying everyday scenarios which touch on such issues as transportation, ecotourism and international negotiations. One scene which stands out is set in the office kitchen. While slightly lengthier than necessary, the scene highlights the stereotypical interactions between co-workers using the (always) filthy office microwave (complete with the obligatory passive aggressive note). The scene effectively explores the notions of personal and collective responsibility, equally applicable to the climate change debate. For anyone who has ever used the office kitchen, the analogy is an apt one.
The talented cast effectively communicates the story lines with minimal stage production but highly effective sound effects which serve to compliment the stories in intelligent ways.
The musical interludes are highly entertaining, particularly the enthusiastic finale which leaves the audience laughing while simultaneously contemplating our collective responsibility for effecting change to achieve sustainability for the health of our planet.
Emissions – A Climate Comedy is playing at Venue 1 – Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Avenue) on Sunday June 23 at 4:00 pm, Monday June 24 at 5:00 pm, Wednesday June 26 at 11:00 pm, Thursday June 27 at 9:30 pm and Saturday June 29 at 8:30 pm. Tickets are $10.