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Oct. 16: Carnegie Mellon's Center for the Arts in Society and School of Drama Present "Pittsburgh Eco-Drama Festival," Oct. 23-25


Eric Sloss     

Carnegie Mellon's Center for the Arts in Society and School of Drama
Present "Pittsburgh Eco-Drama Festival," Oct. 23-25

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Center for the Arts in Society (CAS) and School of Drama present "The Pittsburgh Eco-Drama Festival," staged readings of four new award-winning plays about the environment and ecology by E.M Lewis, Larry Loebell, Robert Koon and C. Denby Swanson. The festival runs Oct. 23-25 in the auditorium of the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park in Regent Square. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Friday and at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The event is free and open to the public. The four plays are:

"Song of Extinction," by E.M. Lewis, directed by Jeffrey Carpenter

8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23
Extinction is as far away as South America - and as close to home as the local hospital. As Ellery and Lilly cope with cancer, their son Max tries to come to terms with what it means for something to be gone forever. Strong language.

"Girl Science," by Larry Loebell, directed by Sam Turich
2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24
Dr. Johanna Vernon, an eminent water biologist, is interviewed for a biography by her grand niece, Lois Allen, an up-and-coming historian. Lois views her great aunt as one of the "forgotten pioneers of science." As a reluctant participant at first, and then more willingly, Johanna reveals a life history entwined with a polluted river, corporate policy, gender politics in the sciences and a lost love.

"Odin's Horse," by Robert Koon, directed by Lisa Ann Goldsmith
8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24
What is the worth of a tree? Is it as lumber? Paper? A political protest? A source of wisdom? Arman struggles to understand his place in a tangle of economic and ecological dilemmas, weaving a modern story together with Norse mythology.

"Atomic Farmgirl," by C. Denby Swanson, directed by Anya Martin
2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 25
Between 1944 and 1972, the Hanford nuclear plant released an estimated 740,000 curies of radioactive material over the Palouse of eastern Washington. Teri Hein, a child of the Cold War and the farm, learns that the history she's teaching her students, and the history of her neighborhood, may not be as clear-cut as she thought.

On Friday Oct. 23 there will be a special "eco-performance" at the Waffle Shop from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Carnegie Mellon students will perform two short original plays about the environment written by local playwright Jay Ball.
This event is part of the performance and ecology initiative sponsored by the CAS, with additional support from the School of Drama. The festival also is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.  
For additional information on the event, and on other activities of the Performance and Ecology Initiative, contact festival director Wendy Arons, associate professor of dramatic literature in the School of Drama, at