My current and long term project, John and Rachel Pave the Road…, grows out of research, writing, and recorded material that pulls from personal experience working in the world’s largest DDT factory, the legacy of Rachel Carson, the controversies surrounding the ultimate ban of DDT in the United States, and memories of my father, John, who was the plant manager and an ardent supporter of the responsible use of DDT. I am particularly excited about exploring structural devices that speak to the conflict and themes of the work.
I am now working with New York based actor, Drae Campbell, http://draecampbell.com/ to explore and develop the complex characters of Rachel Carson and John Kallok. Through design driven response and improvisation founded in research, we are developing real and imagined moments in their lives. Drae is exploring the strong, witty, humorous and energetic facets of Rachel Carson, which contrasts with the many depictions of her as quiet and reserved. Drae also embodies my father, the chemical engineer, nature lover, and DDT manufacturer. We intend to uncover the interconnected worlds of these characters by identifying the overlap, connection, and conflicts.
Drae composed short monologues and dialogues as a path toward connecting with these characters. Here are some rough “takes” of our initial work.
Three variations of a monologue where Rachel considers the long-term implications of the struggle between humanity and the natural world:
John and Rachel begin a conversation over a campfire while eating white croaker.
These video clips and stills represent some of my research and ideas about design and production.
Work undertaken over a period of five evenings, The Blue Barn, Bramble Hill Farm, Amherst, MA:
A group of nine students and I mounted a short workshop performance that just touched upon some
of the research and design impulses. It was good to see the work alive and in three dimensions…and look forward to further development.