The Song of the Lorax
World Premiere Performances:
Friday, November 26, 2021: 7:30pm
Saturday, November 27, 2021: 2:00 & 7:30pm
2590 Walnut St., Boulder, Colorado 80302
We're still in need of underwriting support to fully cover production costs and then take The Song of the Lorax out into the world beyond Boulder. If you're interested in helping out, please contact me and I'll be happy to discuss options! -jn
Some thoughts on today's program...
In the summer of 2019 I made a pilgrimage of sorts...to visit a tree. "Big Lonely Doug" is a Douglas Fir on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, that is at least 1,000 years old. He also lives in a region of the world where trees like him are regularly mowed down by clear-cut logging. More or less by a fluke, Doug was spared when the loggers came through his grove, leaving him standing tall in the midst of a massive clear-cut. When the photographer T.J. Watt's photos of this curious scene got noticed, the story went viral: here was another one of those iconic photographs that so perfectly captures the situation that it immediately galvanizes a response.
I have long been a "tree-hugger." I grew up in the woods, and I have always felt a sacred connection to trees and the forest. For years I've wondered about how to address the crisis of deforestation of old growth forests through my music, but I didn't see how until I met Big Lonely Doug: then I knew.
This show has many elements: sound design, the stunning visual imagery of T.J. Watt, the words of individuals sharing their memories of trees, and of course music. The intent of the program is to immerse the audience in the world of trees, to experience the forest from Big Lonely Doug's perspective: the loneliness of life today, recalling the joy of growing and living in the centuries before Westerners showed up and started cutting down the massive forests of Vancouver Island--and the terror that rained down when they did. But beyond these things, I want this show to motivate action. If the audience leaves feeling only despair and hopelessness, I'll have failed. To that end, I invite you to stay after the show and speak with forest experts on the stresses we have placed on our forest ecosystems worldwide, and to find ways that you can be involved in ending the self-inflicted injury we are doing to ourselves and our planet.
Lastly, the proceeds from this weekend's shows will benefit the Ancient Forest Alliance, an organization dedicated to ending old-growth logging on Vancouver Island and beyond. They have made significant progress in just the last few months, but their work is far from over. If you are interested in supporting this cause, please use the Contact button above to get in touch with me.
Thank you for joining us!
Cast of Creatives
Jeffrey Nytch, Composer and producer
Ivalas String Quartet
Reuben Kabende, violin
Tiani Butts, violin
Aimée McAnulty, viola
Pedro Sánchez, cello
Nathan Hall, Forest sound design (source material courtesy of David George Haskell)
Reed Otto, Lighting design
Nate Rothenberg, Interview sound collage
Catherine Schloegel, Facilitator
T.J. Watt, Photographer
Jonathan Galle, Recording Engineer
Martin Marks, Videographer
This production would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you!!
Boedecker Foundation Path to Excellence Grant
University of Colorado LEAP Professional Development Grant
Dairy Arts Center
Hofgard & Associates
K Kelsch Services, Inc.
Jan Berg & Mike Tietzel
This production has truly "taken a village" of supporters and behind-the-scenes helpers. Deepest thanks to you all!
David George Haskell
Jason & Jenn Mendelson
Mark Phillips & Cara Mentzel
Glenn Webb and the staff of the Dairy Arts Center
Ancient Forest Alliance
Wildlife Protection Solutions
The Lorax Project
The Lorax Project aims to increase awareness of the issue of deforestation and its contribution to climate change, and to motivate audiences and communities to take action. The Lorax Project will partner with local and national organizations, schools, climate activists, and philanthropists to bring The Song of the Lorax to communities throughout the United States and around the world. Stay tuned as this initiative develops!