XR SFBay is a wonderfully creative organization that is passionate about climate activism. Our Street Theater Working Group seeks to expose the different forces at work behind the climate crisis through myth, drama and symbolic action. The troupe has a number of “characters” and performances which come out for marches, rallies, government meetings, public events and more. To get involved, mail us at email@example.com.
The Lamentors express the collective grief, fear and anxiety we all hold in a world increasingly buffeted by climate catastrophe. They are dressed as mourners, in “sack cloth and ashes.” Their signs, pinned front and back, bear witness to the calamities of drought, fire and flood, brought on by fossil-fueled climate chaos. Head bent, eyes downcast, they move silently through the crowd.
Dolores is a 9-foot tall Lamentor puppet, dressed in the same costume as her smaller compatriots. Her face and hands are created from paper maché, her structure is built around a backpack frame, Strapped into the frame, the puppeteer can be seen through the burlap, while two Lamentors move her arms. Dolores draws eyes, cameras and attention to the Lamentors, encouraging people to come over and check out the action.
The Lamentors raise awareness of the climate crisis. But the Engager takes the next step, inspiring our audience to get involved in climate action. Unlike Lamentors who are silent and still, the Engager interacts with the audience, reminding them that the grief, fear and anxiety expressed by the Lamentors is only the first step. “Action is the Antidote to Anxiety. Come join us!” She then hands out a 5x7, glossy card with photos of creative and fun climate actions, and points out the QR Codes that show how you can become a climate activist.
The dystopian character of the “Xtractor” represents the systemic greed of predatory, extractive capitalism. Dressed in gas masks and grey hazmat suits, the Xtractors roam through the world, seeking new resources to exploit. Their costumes bear the logo of a skull being fracked and their mantra is: “Extract, Consume, Deny.” Xtractors move in a staccato, robotic and glitchy manner, as if something inside or around them is unraveling or imploding. But behind their gas masks and mechanical behavior is a desperate, suffering human core.
“Glam” (extravagantly showy fashion) + “Mammon” (false god of greed and material wealth) = “Glammonite.”
Wearing metallic face makeup and flashy-trashy outfits, the Glammonites represent materialism, consumerism and the delusion that shiny new things will bring us happiness. They fixate on each others’ gold tuxedo jackets and fake fur coats, “Omigod! Where did you get that?! I want that!” Encouraging each other to buy, buy, buy, “Shopping is patriotic!” they ignore the reality that our planet cannot sustain the current level of resource extraction that modern consumerism is based on.
Kelp Forest and Salmon
A lush Kelp Forest, in turquoise and emerald hues, floats gently down like a curtain. Salmon swim through the strands of kelp. Both the Kelp Forest and the Salmon are carried on poles by our puppeteers. This vignette celebrates the beauty and vitality of ocean life, and reminds us of the need to protect our oceans for the health of us all.
Absurdist Street Theater
This team has developed several sketches presented at climate actions. A crowd gathers and is invited to join in the game.
Greenwashing Bankers PowerPoint Two “Bankers” pretend to come out of Wells Fargo to explain what good guys they are. But photos of their “green” initiatives quickly devolve into pictures of forest fires. Finally the Bankers are boo’d off stage.
Truth Pipeline “Construction workers” build a pipeline. Kids and animals decry the threat to their future. An explosion. An oil leak. And the Construction workers decide they want a Just Transition to clean and safe energy jobs. The crowd breaks into song.
Alternative Monopoly As Monopoly Man rolls a giant dice, a Banker counts out squares depicting climate killing pipeline projects but also renewable windmills. What should the bank fund? Climate chaos or a green economy? The wrong decision can land the Banker in jail.
For more information about XR SF Bay’s theatrical troupes, reach out and drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Extinction Rebellion is a 100% non-violent civil disobedience movement aimed at nothing less than radical system change. Our rebellion is fueled by our love for humanity and for all life on earth.