PS21 has two unique venues in one stunning building on a bucolic setting just one mile outside the Village of Chatham: a traditional stage with open air seating protected by a sweeping pavilion roof as well as an enclosed black box theater. Equipped with state-of-the-art theatrical equipment, PS21 is able to accommodate a wide range of works by today's most brilliant artists in dance, theater and music.
$20 Students & Youth / $40 General / $35 PS21 Member (no ticketing fees)
Philippe Quesne describes Farm Fatale as "a theater of post-apocalyptic deceleration." In a world laid waste by environmental collapse, human life has ceased. The sole survivors are five scarecrows, who embrace the roles of dreamers, poets, and activists in a quest for a kinder, less harmful future for the planet. The centerpiece of Pathways 2022 programming, Farm Fatale introduces audiences and participants to new European theater in a rural, pristine setting. The work and the environment are of specific and poignant relevance to the most pressing issues of today's world. As a comedic, dystopian pastorale exploring and commenting on the fragility and beauty of the earth's ecosystem, Quesne's Farm Fatale is a natural choice for Pathways 2022: Blazing Trails to a Sustainable Future, PS21's multi-disciplinary public initiative that features free performances, arts and environmental education workshops, circus and processional arts, participatory events, and installations.
In this eco-futurist fable, birds have gone extinct, and the five scarecrows find themselves out of work. Taking up the challenge of restoring life on earth, they archive, investigate, make music, and seek ways to save what can be saved. A scarecrow has, by nature, all the time in the world, but what happens when the “future” has been reduced to a chimera, when crops, insects, and birds are only vaguely remembered vestiges of a vanished past? The scarecrows flap idly in the wind, waiting for something that will no longer return. They find themselves in a pristine, clinical and plastic space, where even the bales of straw have something false and purely artificial about them.
Despite the grim prospects, there is something in scarecrow being that rejects entropy. Refusing to be discouraged, they forage for what remains of nature, listening to the ideas of a bee—bereaved by the disappearance of flowers, they set up a pirate radio to broadcast bird songs—worry about the denuding of the earth, talk to any creature they can find, and against all odds, begin to form plans. No matter how beaten down they are, they’re ready to defend any life forms that survive. Philippe Quesne’s plastic and musical universe has grown even bolder since it was originally produced at Munich’s Kammerspiele. He has composed a dystopian comedy where non-humans inherit the mantle of humanity and struggle to resist ecological disaster as best they can. Funny and optimistic—or absurd and anxious, depending on where you stand—this game of swapped identities invites us to imagine other ways of living together.
About Pathways 2022: Blazing Trails to a Sustainable Future
Pathways is PS21’s summer series of spectacle, performance, and community participation for all ages, highlighting the intersection between nature and the arts, and making use of PS21’s reconfigurable theater and 100 acre campus as a stage. Circus arts, theater, dance, and music with distinguished directors, actors, and choreographers, plus educational initiatives such as StoryWalks and Ecology Walks underpin Pathways programming. This summer, Philippe Quesne’s ecological fable Farm Fatale forms the centerpiece of Pathways 2022, and appears amongst a varied and exciting lineup including Compagnie Galmae’s C'est pas là, c’est par là, which turns the audience into a problem solving collective, as well as free environmental workshops and encounters.
Date & Time
Sep 2 - 3, 2022