Unraveling and Turning: A Climate Change Cabaret
7:30 PM, Saturday, August 8, 2015 at the United Church of Strafford – Event is Open to the Public & Free
This participatory cabaret, a reprise of the concepts first produced in shows in Burlington (2012) and Montpelier (2013), will feature Linda Patterson, vocalist and 350VT member, Rev. Will Burhans, pastor of Charlotte Congregational Church, and performers from the Stafford community.
Will and Linda will perform songs composed by Burhans, Pete Sutherland and Billy Ed Wheeler. Their songs will encompass the themes of spirituality and creation, environmental destruction and shared visions for the future. In addition, they will lead the audience in chants of peaceful reflection and contemplation.
Award winning performer Kathryn Blume will perform a reading: “Radical Sustainability. A Chautauqua-like meditation on humanity’s place in a struggling, feisty, and ever-changing world.” See Kathryn’s bio below.
Stafford performers are currently developing several pieces for the cabaret on climate change, portrayed through movement, dance and song.
To participate in the cabaret as a performer or in production assistance, please contact Linda Patterson via email at lindapatterson313 AT gmail DOT com
History of the Climate Change Cabaret
In the spring of 2012, three Burlington-based environmental activists/performers (Linda Patterson, Kathy Blume and Jen Berger) collaborated on a cabaret about the impacts of the climate crisis on our communities, our relationships with each other and the land, and on our sense of place caught in the process of irrevocable change.
They wanted to give local artists a chance to express, through a variety of art forms, their despair, their hope and their shared visions related to the disruptions, challenges, and opportunities presented by climate change.
They sought to have the audience experience the cabaret as an affirmation of their fears and losses, as an antidote to isolation, and a source of inspiration and joy.
The cabaret was named Unraveling and Turning, from the writings of Joanna Macy. Jonathon Wichmann, New World Library, elaborates on Macy’s concepts:
“The Great Unraveling is the story of life on our planet failing fast, with climate change, rainforest destruction, and species extinction happening at an alarming rate… The story of the Great Turning…. frames this time as the moment when humanity changes course toward creating a life-sustaining society. It’s the story of activists, revolutionaries, and visionaries who are seeking to slow the destruction, create new technologies and ways of living, and help us shift our collective consciousness.”
The climate change cabaret was to reflect both of these processes, the final message being one of collective strength, faith and action.
With support from 350VT, the first cabaret was produced in Burlington in 2012. The program included music, dance, drama, puppets, video and storytelling, and was filled with humor, grief, passion and conviction.
The founders’ dream for the cabaret had always been to “bring it on the road”, providing support to communities throughout the State to produce their own cabarets reflecting the significance of climate change in their area. With that dream in mind, the second Unraveling and Turning was produced in Montpelier in 2013. Local business sponsors worked with Vermont artists and performers to create a climate-focused art exhibit in a local gallery, a large outdoor event with multiple acts, and an indoor cabaret within the statehouse chambers. 350VT provided administrative support.
Rev. Will Burhans
Rev. Will Burhans has been the pastor of the Charlotte Congregational Church, UCC, for 15 years, and is a singer/songwriter who has recorded 2 CD’s of contemporary folk music. His contemplative music with harmony vocals not only factors significantly in his ministry with the church but he performs for various events throughout Vermont. He is also a snowboarding chaplain at the Stowe Mountain Chapel in Stowe, Vermont.
Linda Patterson has contributed her vocal talents to the environmental and social justice movements for over 20 years. In addition to performing for both 350VT cabarets, she has been a featured soloist for the Emergent Universe Oratorio, the BePeace Vermont program, the Waldorf Chorus and the Oriana Singers. She has also sung with the Opera Company of Middlebury, and is a frequent soloist for the Charlotte Congregational Church.
Kathryn Blume is the Executive Director of Vermontivate! – an award-winning community sustainability game designed to bring fun, hope, and possibility to the hard work of addressing the global climate crisis. She co-founded the Lysistrata Project, the first worldwide theatrical event for peace, founded Earth on the Air, a nationally-syndicated environmental and social justice radio program, and serves as board chair of 350VT. She doesn’t do much in her spare time, because she doesn’t really have any