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.
$45 Patron / $35 General / $20 PS21 Member (no ticketing fees) / Students & Youth FREE
In this eco-futurist fable, birds have gone extinct, and 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. Exploring the fragility and beauty of the earth’s ecosystem, they become dreamers, poets, and activists in a quest for a kinder, less harmful future for the planet.
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, Quesne says, 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.
You may also be interested in C'est pas là, c'est par là by Compagnie Galmae on September 3rd at 8:30pm. A ticket to both Farm Fatale and C'est pas là, c'est par là can be purchased for $40.
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.