Entertainment That Causes Conversations…Not Comfortable…Always Necessary.

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Theater as a medium for social change

Above is a powerful TedX talk about how theatre for social change can get sparked just by being moved by one singular play.  And while many of us may not be the people who constantly write to our local congress or who march or who put demonstrations together, we can use an incredibly powerful tool to inspire people to speak, act, and talk.   That tool is storytelling.   While we can all read statistics and hear news reports, those often will not make the difference needed.  It is when people are moved and transformed in their seat that things can shift.

I as Executive Director am always looking at examples of the arts that make a difference.  Recently, I binge watched “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix while also watching many of the interviews with the cast and writers.   This show which so accurately depicts the viciousness of teenage depression, eating disorders, teenage sexual assualt, and the pressure of growing up while undergoing these atrocities will absolutely cause people to act.  Check out more here….

The Difference 13 Reasons Why Made.

This video is quite poignant.

 

At Ripple Effect Artists, our shows have caused audiences to volunteer, sign petitions, and have conversations that matter in their family, workplace, and in education.   And we will continue to do this, causing ripples.   Is it uncomfortable?  Yes.   Must we continue?  Without a doubt.

Join us in creating more ripples……

 

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“Given that 85 percent of U.S. counties are home to some number of incarcerated individuals, it’s likely that most of our nation’s theatres are close to at least one correctional facility. In those facilities about two thirds of the incarcerated are people of color. As theatres work to diversify their audiences along lines of income and ethnicity, a growing percentage of those attendees will have a personal connection to mass incarceration, opening up new opportunities for relevance to communities. In short there seems to be great room and reason to expand this field of work.” – American Theatre

 

This quote among many show the incredible impact theatre can make.   As Ripple Effect Artists approaches its 6th annual gala, I, as founder, reflect on just how powerful theatre can be for the human condition.  It is theatre from Shakespeare, Chekhov, and the recent masters that cause audiences to look within, discover our own falsehoods, perceive people, life, and situations differently and therefore, create a shift.  Or as we say–A Ripple Effect.   While often seen as frivolous, we say it is crucial.  And we have devised a way in which it can be–using theatre to raise awareness and funds for societal issues.

 

And after 10 years, we continue to create ripples….

Spotlight on our First Board Member–Cindy Fahay!

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Cindy Fahay brings a diverse background of education and professional expertise  to the Board of REA. With an MS degree from the University of Massachusetts, Cindy was employed by NOAANMFS in 1971 where she participated in off-shore research expeditions and co-authored several peer-reviewed manuscripts for ten years. In 1981 she joined The McGraw Hill Company as a research analyst and worked her way up the ladder using her sales and science skills to one of the VPs of The McGraw Hill Company. Nineteen years later she joined a non-profit independent school where she taught Language Arts and English Literature to Middle School students for eight years. Cindy is currently retired and living in Maine and is thrilled and proud to be a member of the REA Board since the company’s inception nine years ago.
“Ripple Effect” as it applies to Ripple Effect Artists means creating a movement by simply touching one person, who will touch another, who will touch another until many of the world’s inhabitants have been touched by the importance of the advocacy work that we do at REA. With our theater arts productions that revolve around social issues, we touch more than one person at a time. Because theater is audience driven, we end up touching many with our thought provoking productions and our advocacy programs. Therefore using theater as an art form to generate action as an advocacy forum.

Spotlight on Ripple Effect Artists Board President–Jessica Jennings

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A ‘ripple effect’ is created by a point of impact, energy that shifts the area around it.  It may start small, but causes waves of change far beyond where it began.  To me, this is about one good idea that causes other good ideas; or one conversations that keeps going, that’s picked up by other people in the room.  This Season at Ripple Effect Artists we are leveraging theatre and film projects to look deeply at issues of Climate Change.  And our art is already impacting my own life.  Issues of ‘waste’ are resonating with me, so I am taking steps to reduce one-use plastics in my life.  A year ago I replaced my son’s disposable straws with reusable, composting bamboo straws. I refuse plastic bags more than ever, and I won’t use a coffee lid if I’m sitting to drink at a cafe. Next: I just ran out of saram-wrap, so I found a a product called Beeswrap that I’m going to purchase; and in the near future I will be trying my hand at compost – which is terrifying so please help me!  These are small steps for a woman, but if everyone got present to their waste and rejected one-use plastic we could cripple the industry and make the sort of drastic overhaul that the planet deserves.

Holidays are here…and what will Santa do without a North Pole?!

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As we embark on our theatrical season addressing climate change, some research has been done.   In watching Al Gore’s sequel, there are some enlightening facts that we now have realized we cannot ignore.   Over the past decade, hurricanes in New York, Houston, Florida, and other locations across the globe have taught us that sea levels are on the rise due to massive heating of structures that were once ice.   And in the U.S., we still have an administration that vastly opposes taking any action towards this crisis.

Watch this HERE!

 

Some facts to consider:

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With the facts above, what are the next best steps?

With Ripple Effect Artists’ Production of 2071 and our partnership with 350.org, we are committed to creating a safe and healthy planet for future generations–for no other reason than it is OUR FAULT.

This Holiday season, we at Ripple Effect Artists charge consumers with engaging in activities that can reduce our CO2 emissions.   These include:

Taking Trains

Recycle!

Give LED lights as Christmas Gifts!

Give a tree to plant as a Christmas Gift!

To learn more about our Carbon Footprint, give this a look!

 

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Stay educated and give our future generations the GIFT of a healthy planet.

Spotlight on our upcoming Stage Manager…

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Stephen is thrilled to be working with Ripple Effect and the incredible team working with 2071. Stephen directing and produced “The Cover of Life” by R.T.Robinson – Off-Broadway. Production Stage Manager for “Blood Boundary” by Vicki Mooney – Off Broadway  Other credits include: Production Stage Manager – Into the Woods, Annie, Pirate’s – a musical, Macbeth, and Murder’s in the Heir.   Stephen is thrilled to be working with Ripple effect for so many reasons, including but not limited to the ability to bring theater to life to share an important message of change and art with those that may not have an opportunity to experience this. The world is always going to be changing, and we are part of the problem, reason or example that change can be for the better or for the worse. Ripple Effect has a strong connection that I believe in, within the exploration of charity, and how we are able to share what we have for others whether in our professional lives or personal. Ripple Effect is an inspiration because of the team that is involved to make Ripple effect possible, along with sharing this vision and message with the entire world at large. 

Welcome to season nine!

 

 

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Welcome to our 9th season! This season we’re tackling climate change. Climate change refers to the change of the standard weather found in a specific place. This could be a change in the rain or snow accumulation a place usually receives within a year or even a change in the place’s usual temperature for the month or season. Climate Change also refers to a change in the Earth’s overall climate. Unlike weather which can change in a few hours, climate takes hundreds or even millions of years to change (Dunbar 2015).

Throughout history, the Earth’s climate has fluctuated. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat. The abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marked the beginning of the modern climate era (NASA 2018). Many factors can cause climate to change such as Earth’s distance from the sun, the amount of energy the sun emits, ocean levels, and when volcanoes erupt. However, most scientists agree when it comes to climate change, humans make the largest impact. Our everyday tasks such as driving cars, cooking food, and heating and cooling our homes use energy. Energy is generally made by burning coal, oil, and gas. These things release gas into the atmosphere and cause the air to heat up (Dunbar 2015). Since the 19th century, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this may seem low, the 5 warmest years on record have taken place since 2010 with 2016 being the warmest year on record (NASA 2018).

The signs of climate change are all around us. With wildfires plaguing California and hurricanes pummeling the east coast, it is important now more than ever to take action. Through our production of 2071 we hope to raise awareness and encourage others to take action to improve our current climate conditions.

2071 is a dramatized lecture written by scientist Chris Rapley and playwright Duncan McMillan. The piece is partially a memoir of Rapley’s life and career and partially an explanation of climate change and of the controversies surrounding it. The title, 2071, is the year in which Rapley’s oldest grandchild will be 67 years old. This was Rapley’s age when he first performed it in 2014 at the Royal Court Theater in London.

 

 

 

  

 

Works Cited

NASA. “Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?” NASA, NASA, 8 Aug. 2018,

http://www.climate.nasa.gov/evidence/.

 

Dunbar, Brian. “What Is Climate Change?” NASA, NASA, 13 May 2015, http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-climate-

change-k4.html.