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Immersive theatre piece ‘Ocean Filibuster’ comes to UtahPresents

What is our relationship to the bodies of water around us? What would the Ocean say to us if it had a voice?

Obie Award-winning theatre company PearlDamour set out to answer these questions, and more, with Ocean Filibuster, a groundbreaking theatre piece coming to UtahPresents at Kingsbury Hall on March 23rd. More info and to purchase tickets, click here.

Ocean Filibuster places audiences in the gallery of a futuristic Senate as the leader, Mr. Majority, proposes a bill to reduce the Ocean and decrease water-related natural disasters. An anthropomorphic Ocean emerges in an attempt to filibuster the bill using science, humor, and wit. Supporting the ocean is a locally cast Ocean Ensemble, made up of University of Utah Department of Theatre students.

Ocean Filibuster is not content to be watched and forgotten: instead, it seeks to make audiences truly consider the value of the ocean and resolve to fight for it. Actor Jennifer Kidwell plays both Mr. Majority and the Ocean, showing how humans remain deeply interconnected with the ocean, even as we harm it. Grand projections and musical numbers reveal the wonder of the Ocean, while the set opens up into the audience, drawing them into the world of the performance. It forces the audience to be an active participant in this senate hearing, showing them what they might otherwise tune out without realizing.

Ocean Filibuster will be performed at Kingsbury Hall on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10 – $48, with a University of Utah Student Arts Pass ticket available for $5. More info and to purchase tickets, click here.

This unique work is deeply rooted in science. Originally commissioned by the American Repertory Theatre in collaboration with Harvard University’s Center for the Environment, Ocean Filibuster has always been a fusion of science and the arts. This production has been brought to campus in partnership with the University’s Global Change and Sustainability Center, the Sustainability Office, and the Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and Humanities.

It also features an interactive intermission, described as “part science fair, part circus”, that includes several touring experiences as well as an experience created by a local organization and tailored specifically to local environmental challenges. Community partner Save Our Great Salt Lake has created an experience that includes the iconic wave they created for demonstrations that took place during the recent legislative session, as well as puppets of species living in and around the lake. Brolly Arts will also be sharing a look at “Illusion of Abundance”, their new short film sharing Indigenous perspectives on the lake.

It is difficult to spur people to act when facing a gradual change, and statistics themselves rarely inspire us to act. This performance recognizes how far art can stretch the impact of scientific fact, as well as the power art has to create real change in the world. By reminding audiences of the awe and beauty found in the ocean, Ocean Filibuster prods us toward action.