Metra, A Climate Revolution Play With Songs

Flux Theatre Ensemble presents
the World Premiere of

Metra,
A Climate Revolution Play
With Songs

by Emily and Ned Hartford, songs by Ned Hartford
directed by Emily Hartford

The Story

The year is 2045. Despite lip service toward climate action, the fossil fuel industry continues to thrive. Shit’s bad. The rich choose to ignore it, insulated in air-conditioned Bubble communities and continuing to reap the benefits of disaster capitalism. But in a roadside bar on the Outside, a movement of collective power is brewing. A group of revolutionaries-a journalist, a hedge fund manager, and an ancient tree nymph-are tapping into a mythic and elemental magic that will demand that the powerful break the cycle of destruction, or face its consequences.

Continuing the award-winning audience and community-building strategy of their last nine productions, no financial transaction is required to Metra, A Climate Revolution Play with Songs. Instead, attendees reserve a “Living Ticket” and are welcome to donate based on Flux’s open budget and commitment to reach living wages for all artists and staff.  Learn more here.

Flux is participating in the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition’s Blame Wall Street project. Learn more.


CAST

Cherrye J. Davis, Cori, is an actor, vocalist, director, playwright, teaching artist. Education: NYU-Tisch UG- Playwrights Horizons. NY Theater: How to Mourn an American, (Rough Draft Fest. 2019), The Loophole (The Public Theater), And She Would Stand Like This (TMTC), And Then I Woke (Downtown Arts), Self-Accusation (LaGuardia Performing Arts Center), Trojan Women (Oppressed in Heels), Hope Speaks (La Mama), Immortal (The Forge), Bintou (TMTC), Hamlet (Classical Theater of Harlem). TV/Film: For Flow (2011 HBO Black Film Fest. Finalist), Scribbles (NYC Indie Film Fest). Original Work: Scavenger (BARS @ The Public Theater), Dreams in Scar Space (Playwrights Horizons Theater School), Tapes (TMTC). A teaching artist in history and spoken word performance, Cherrye has performed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Bedstuy Alive!, and in schools throughout New York City. She can also be found performing with blues experiment The Nervous, or fronting the live hip hop band Deathrow Tull. Follow her moves at www.CherryeJDavis.com.

Ned Hartford, Tom, Co-Writer/Lyrics & Music (he/him), is an award-winning songwriter and performer (including runner-up in Billboard Magazine’s Best Unsigned Band Competition, and winner of the International Songwriting Competition for his song “In The Park”), and has played his music to audiences as large as 80,000 people. After Ned’s last record deal ended (with a rock label out of Nashville), Ned moved back to NYC with the goal of writing musicals. His musicals have been produced at The Gym at Judson, Theater Row, and The Barrow Group. Ned is also an accomplished voice-over actor, sound designer, and film composer.

Rebecca Ana Peña, Aglophonos, is a Cuban American artist based in New York City. Trained as an actor, vocalist, and dancer at NYU (BFA Drama), she has worked in theatre, film, and multimedia.  Credits Include: “The Bacchae” (NYTimes Critics Pick) at The Classical Theatre of Harlem, “What Happened In Skinner (Ambie Award Nominated), and most recently leading the one-woman show “My Fellow Americans” at The Secret Theatre. When not performing, she works as a visual artist and writer. In any capacity, she loves working on projects that investigate people’s duality and humanity and allows all people to celebrate and explore their legacy.

Corinna Schulenburg, Sam, (she/her), is a founding Creative Partner.  She is a trans artist and activist committed to ensemble practice and social justice.As a playwright, her work with Flux includes Riding the Bull, Rue, Other Bodies, The Lesser Seductions of History, Jacob’s House, DEINDE, Honey Fist, Salvage,The Sea Concerto, and Operating Systems. With Flux, she directed Ajax in Iraq (NYITA nomination), A Midsummer Nights Dream, and the Food:Souls Goldsboro and Volleygirls. As an actor with Flux, she has played Max in World Builders, Dr. X in Hearts Like Fists, Ezekiel in 8 Little Antichrists (NYITA nomination), and the Professor in Rue.

Richard B. Watson, Tyler, (he/him) Richard was born and raised in Wilmington, NC, and lives in NYC. Most recently closed MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Maltz Jupiter, Richard was Henry Higgins with Kate Baldwin in MY FAIR LADY Sacramento Music Circus and Sherlock in SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE WEST END HORROR at Asolo and Pioneer theaters. NYC: DEVILS DISCIPLE Irish Rep, SERENDIB Ensemble Studio Theater, and VENUS FLYTRAP Active Theater. Film/TV: FBI Most Wanted; PS, I Love You; Mozart In The Jungle; Law & Order CI; Delocated; Onion Sports Network; Art=(Love)²; and a pilot Powerless for FX. Richard recently played George in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? and is an inaugural company member at American Stage in FL. He was awarded his MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University / Shakespeare Theatre Company. Proud union member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. www.richardbwatson.com


CREATIVE TEAM

Emily Hartford, Co-Writer/Director, (she/her) is a 2022 Drama League FutureNow Stage Directing Fellow—a national honor with prestigious alumni, including Sam Gold, Rachel Chavkin, and the late Chadwick Boseman. This summer, her fellowship included launching, co-producing, and directing in the inaugural FutureNow Festival at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York. Emily is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and her work has been supported by the Orchard Project, the Puffin Foundation, and the SDCF Observership Program. Her productions have appeared at Abrons Arts Center, the Gym at Judson, the Hangar Theatre, and more. With Flux, Emily directed Operating Systems and Rizing, and is a Lead Creator of the interactive audio project, Our Options Have Changed (with Corey Allen and Will Lowry). Her first short film, Type A, premiered at the Woods Hole Film Festival in 2021 and has appeared in festivals across the country. Emily is a proud Creative Partner of Flux Theatre Ensemble.

Jodi M. Witherell, Production Stage Manager, (she/her), was most recently seen as PSM for Flux’s Operating Systems and Adam Szymkowiz’s Rare Birds (Red Fern). Favorite credits include: miscellaneous work on The Miracle Worker (Queens Theatre) and Mac Rogers’ Universal Robots and The Honeycomb Trilogy (Gideon Productions); That Which Isn’t (Theater Accident), All Systems Go: Mission 4 (Mission to (dit)Mars); Moby Dick (Fireboat Productions); AM I DEAD? Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood, Rizing, Salvage, Once Upon a Bride…, Jane the Plain, Hearts Like Fists, Deinde, Ajax in Iraq and many others with Flux; as well as shows with The Gallery Players; Avalon Studios; The St. Bart’s Players; Working Man’s Clothes; Pembi Players; Playwright’s Company; Audax Theatre Group; Streetlight Productions and The American Globe Theatre. NYIT Award Winner: Outstanding Stage Manager 2016.

Will Lowry, Scenic Designer, (he/him) is a multidisciplinary designer and an Associate Professor of Theatre at Lehigh University (PA).  He has been a Flux Creative Partner since 2011. With Flux, he created scenic designs for Rage Play, The Sea Concerto, Am I Dead?, Marian (Or, the True Tale of Robin Hood), Rizing, Tartuffe (in conjunction with Lafayette College), Salvage, Once Upon a Bride There Was a Forest, Jane the Plain, Hearts Like Fists, DEINDE, Ajax in Iraq, and Lesser Seductions of History; costume designs for Sans Merci, Honey Fist, and Menders; and both scenic and costume designs for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is a Lead Artist for Flux’s interactive audio experience Our Options Have Changed and he was the Creative Director for two productions of GPS, an immersive digital work at Lehigh. He has created over 130 scenic, lighting, projection, and costume designs for theaters along the East Coast and beyond, including productions at Dupont Underground (DC), Mill Mountain Theatre (VA), Warehouse Theatre (SC), Playhouse on Park (CT), Birmingham Children’s Theatre (AL), Palace Theatre/Spirit of the Dance Productions (SC/UK), Curtain Call Theatre (NY), California Theatre Center (CA), Southeast Missouri State University (MO), Lafayette College (PA), College of Southern Nevada (NV), and the Sydney Opera House (AUS). In NYC, he designed over twenty off-off Broadway productions, and he contributed to multiple Broadway and off-Broadway productions as a studio assistant, assistant to the costume designer, or graphic designer. His website can be found at will-lowry.com will-lowry.com

Kia Rogers, Lighting Designer, (she/her) a New York City based lighting designer for Theatre and Dance.
International credits: Lighting Designer for The Baby Monitor, Rome and Cagliari, Italy 2021, and Belgrade, Serbia for the Belgrade Pride Festival. Associate Lighting Designer for Slutforart/98.6 in Gothenburg, Sweden with Muna Tseng.
West coast designs: El Portal’s Monroe Forum Theatre, Los Angeles and Z Space, San Francisco. Film credits: Georgia & Me, Happy Days, and Hot Angry Mom web series. Dance designs: Flamenco Vivo National tours, Forward Motion, Kinesis Project Dance Theatre, Lighting Designer and mentor for Ethical Culture Fieldston High School Dance Company since 2015.
Guest Lighting Designer: Lafayette College, Easton PA,  the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC and for the South Carolina Governors School of the Arts, Greenville, SC. Awards:Outstanding Lighting Design for Real, 2019 and Jane The Plain, 2014 by the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, Outstanding Lighting Design for Mr. Toole, 2016 by the Midtown International Theatre Festival. Nominations: Operating Systems, 2019, Rizing, 2016 and The Gin Baby, 2014 by the New York Innovative Theatre Awards. Kia is a Creative Partner with Flux Theatre Ensemble since 2012 and a member of LAByrinth Theater Company.www.krogersld.com.

Raphael Regan, Costume Designer, is an enrolled member with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He holds his MFA from the University of Cincinnati, College – Conservatory of Music better known as CCM.  Costume Design credits include: According to Coyotes (Spokane Ensemble Theatre), Being Future Being (Catalyst), Sovereignty (Harlequin Productions), The Heart Stays (feature film), Collective Noun (Corkscrew Theatre Festival), King Lear, Apartment 3A, Romeo & Juliet, Race, Escape from Happiness (Stella Adler), Taiga in the Berkshires, In search of (Williamstown Theatre Festival) Little Shop of Horrors, Pippin, 9 to 5 (Highlands Playhouse). Assistant Costume Design credits: Catch as Catch Can (Playwrights Horizon), A Walk on the Moon (George Street Playhouse), Harmony (NYTF), A Sherlock Carol (New World Stages), Anastasia (Second National Tour), Fandango for Butterflies (La Mama), Mlima’s Tale (Westport Playhouse), Skeleton Crew (Westport Playhouse). www.RaphaelRegan.com

Nathanael Brown, Sound Designer

BIO AND HEADSHOT COMING SOON

Heather Cohn, Lead Organizer, (she/her) is a producer, director, fundraiser, and strong believer in collective leadership. She is a co-founder and Creative Partner with Flux Theatre Ensemble, an Indie theatre company founded in 2006. With Flux, Heather has produced nearly 30 full productions, including 18 world premieres. She directed 9 Flux productions, with playwrights including Corinna Schulenburg, Kevin R. Free, Kristen Palmer, Erin Browne, and Johnna Adams. She served as Assistant Director to Austin Pendleton on Johnna Adams’s Gidion’s Knot and most recently as assistant director for Andrea Thome’s Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes). She has also directed with companies including Rattlestick, Lark Play Development Center, Planet Connections, the EstroGenius Festival, MTWorks and Cherry Lane. She has also served as the Executive Director of En Garde Arts, a site-specific Off-Broadway theatre, since 2019 and has been with the company since 2017. Heather was the Director of Development for Epic Theatre prior to that worked with New York Theatre Workshop, The Pearl Theatre Company, and Theatre Communications Group also in development. She previously served as a Board Member of the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) and was co-chair of the Task Force for trans inclusion. She’s an alum of the Producers’ LAB with WP Theatre and the Cornerstone Theatre Summer Institute where she helped produce Octavio Solis’ LETHE. Heather is a graduate of Vassar College where she majored in Latin American Studies and spent time living in Cuba and Chile. And most importantly, she’s a proud mom to Mercena.

Jem Pickard, Climate Action Designer, (they/he), is the co-director of Superhero Clubhouse, a Lenapehoking (New York City)-based company creating theater to enact climate and environmental justice. Over the past 15 years Jem has produced, directed, and co-created dozens of works of eco-theater including Mammelephant, The Planet Plays, Flying Ace and the Storm of the Century!, Salty Folk: An Oyster Musical, and Core of Me: A Hike-Play. From 2009-2020 Jem directed the annual Big Green Theater eco-playwriting program for public school students, now in its thirteenth year. Upcoming: LES Fellowship culminating event, at the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. www.superheroclubhouse.org

Mackenzie Trowbridge, Production Manager, is a freelance production and stage manager based here in NYC. She is a graduate of Adelphi University’s BFA program, where she received her degree in Theatre Design & Technology. Previous credits include work with the Hangar Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, The Argyle Theatre, Arc Stages, Live Source Theatre Group, Lone Wolf Productions, TheatreworksUSA, etc. Mackenzie currently serves as the Resident Stage Manager for Adelphi University’s Department of Dance, along with working for Union College’s Theatre and Dance Department. She is a proud member of AEA.

Judy Bowman, CSA (Casting Director) is a Flux first-timer, though she’s been talking about it with Kelly O’Donnell for 2 decades. Her recent credits include Madeline Sayet’s Where We Belong (tour), …Chad Deity (Profile Theatre), A Christmas Carol (McCarter), The Great Leap (Cleveland Play House), Incendiary (Woolly Mammoth), and 2 recent musicals:  Justice and Nina Simone: Four Women (Arizona Theatre Co).  FILM/TVHurricane Bianca, One Moment, Separation, Lost Cat Corona, Gold Star, Copenhagen, Redemption in Cherry Springs (Hallmark), & Big Dogs (Amazon). Judy has collaborated with Humana Festival, Merrimack, Kitchen Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, & A.R.T. Artios Award nominee for Best Webseries Casting and PT Barnum Award recipient.  judybowmancasting.com

Corey Allen, Image Co-Designer, is an actor, writer and teaching artist from San Diego, California.  He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a BA in Drama from UC Irvine. New York City credits include: Am I Dead?Sea Concerto (Flux Theatre Ensemble), Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry (DramaLeague). Regional Credits: Shakespeare Theatre: An Oresteia, Macbeth; Huntington Theatre Company: A Raisin in the SunMa Rainey’s Black Bottom; Pioneer Theatre Company: Two Dollar BillA Few Good Men; Great River Shakespeare Festival: Othello, Twelfth NightA Midsummer Night’s Dream; Utah Shakespeare Festival: Cyrano de BergeracThe Two Gentlemen of Verona; Repertory Theatre of St. Louis:  Alabama Story, The Fall of Heaven; Orlando Shakespeare Theatre: Best of Enemies.

Film work includes: Halston, Lost & Found, Proximity. Television: Happy!MindhunterManh(a)ttanPower , Madame Secretary.

Jason Tseng, Image Co-Designer, is a queer, non-binary Chinese-American playwright based in New York City, originally hailing from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Their plays have been presented and developed by Flux Theatre Ensemble, Judson Arts, Mission to dit(Mars), Theatre COTE, Inkubator Arts, Second Generation, Downtown Urban Arts Festival, and LA Queer New Works Festival. They are a Creative Partner of Flux Theatre Ensemble, a member of The Civilians’s 2019/2020 R&D Group, a member of Mission to dit(Mars)’s Propulsion Lab, and their plays have been honored as Semi-finalists for the New American Voices Playwrights Festiva, Bay Area Playwrights Festivall and the Eugene O’Neil National Playwrights Conference. Jason’s full-length plays include Rizing (World Premier, Flux Theatre Ensemble), Like Father, Same Same, Ghost Money, Fear and Wonder, and The Other Side. Find more at jasontseng.com.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art by Jackie Fawn.

Flux’s production of Metra is a part of Stop the Money Pipeline coalition’s Blame Wall Street project: https://blamewallstreet.org/.

Just like the climate revolutionaries of Metra, the Blame Wall Street project is taking action to stop those who are most profiting from our planet’s production. As they put it: “Wall Street fuels climate chaos by investing trillions in coal, oil & gas. It’s time to stop them. This fall, we’re calling for a wave of actions that lay the blame for the climate crisis on those responsible: the banks, insurers & investors funding the fossil fuel industry.”

Please join Flux and the cast and creative team of Metra in taking climate action with the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition and Blame Wall Street!


The creative producing team also includes the Flux Creative Partners not listed above:  Sienna Gonzalez, Rachael Hip-Flores, Lori Elizabeth Parquet, Alisha Spielmann, and Isaiah Tanenbaum.


DEVELOPMENT

The themes for Metra were originally conceived and developed through a series of devising workshops in 2018, led by Emily Hartford, that were funded by the Puffin Foundation. That grant enabled an ensemble of artists gather and experiment with the source dramaturgy, generate material, and engage in dramaturgical discussion. Following those workshops, Ned Hartford and Emily Hartford created the script for Metra (with songs by Ned Hartford). Metra had its first full table read in September 2019. In addition to the Puffin Foundation support, Metra has received development support through Flux Theatre Ensemble’s Annual Retreat, as well as Flux’s new-work incubator, Core Work.

Artists who participated in the devising and development above have included Toni Anderson, Arthur Aulisi, Rocio Mendez, Antonio Miniño, Lori Elizabeth Parquet, Anna Rahn, Dominique Rider, Corinna Schulenburg, Ereni Sevasti, and Stephanie Willing.


 

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