‘Make Thee an Ark’ to put focus on Florida 300 years in the future, in wake of climate change

Performances planned in Mary’s Chapel at Selby Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point in Osprey

Image courtesy of Raychel Ceciro and Logan Gabrielle Schulman

Playwrights Raychel Ceciro and Logan Gabrielle Schulman will bring the world premiere of the 2020 Kilroys List Featured Play Make Thee an Ark to Selby Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus in Osprey on Oct. 8, 9 and 10 and again on Oct. 15, 16 and 17, Selby Gardens has announced.

Make Thee an Ark, which will take place in Mary’s Chapel,” is a new site-specific play set 300 years in the future in a New Ark floating above an undersea Florida,” a news release explains. “Moored to an old oil rig, the New Ark harbors what may be the last vestiges of humanity after global warming has wreaked havoc on the planet. Two sisters tell stories of a Florida long forgotten while elsewhere on the ship, the Pastor, the leader of the New Ark, prepares his people for an oncoming storm,” the release adds.

“Combining storytelling with immersive performance, projection, and puppetry, Make Thee an Ark interprets the archived histories of Selby Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus from the perspective of a generation living in the flooded future,” the release points out.

The play was awarded funding as the 2019 John Ringling Towers Grant Performance-Category recipient through the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota, the release adds.

“Selby Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus has an incredible 5,000 years’ worth of human history currently at risk due to climate change,” Ceciro, who is also Make Thee an Ark’s director, noted in the release. “My performance work incorporates the histories of coastal areas facing rising seas to preserve the memory and history of the space, while challenging audiences to imagine possible futures where we have successfully combated climate change,” she added in the release.

Following the final performance of Make Thee an Ark — at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17 — a panel discussion, Ark Dialogues, is planned, the release continues. Moderated by Sarasota native and archaeologist Sabrina Cummings, that event will focus on the play’s use of Sarasota history “and how it combines lived Sarasota experiences with a fictional narrative about Florida’s possible futures …”

Ark Dialogues is being made possible through support of the Florida Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the release points out.

A 2:15 p.m. reception is planned prior to the panel discussion, which will start at 2:30 p.m., the release adds.

Performance tickets, which are $20, are available here.

Ark Dialogues is a free event with registration available at this link.

Masks will be required indoors, the release says, and audiences will be socially distanced.

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