Using Laughter to Explore Human Nature and Climate Change
by Robyn Lester
From the title, I expected this production to be a preachy lesson in environmentalism thinly veiled in comedy. However, it wasn’t quite like that. Thank goodness. Because there is nothing more annoying than someone using guilt tactics in order to make you change—a theme that Emissions: A Climate Comedy actually explores in one of its series of six vignettes.
However, although it wasn’t preachy, it wasn’t overly thought-provoking either. The overall message, I suppose, is the importance of working together in order to come up with creative solutions. It is a great message, but it’s not particularly revolutionary and did little to inspire me. It was a fun and light show, but it didn’t do what I wanted it to do. But, perhaps I am asking too much of just one production. I suppose as long as this play encouraged some sort of discussion about environmental issues, then the writer (Ann Cavlovic) accomplished what she set out to do.
I did enjoy how the vignettes were split into different themes. I thought it was a nice way to structure the show. Each theme reflected different aspects of human nature as it relates to our attitude on climate change. There were some parts of the show that could have easily taken on a negative tone. For instance, one scene explores how a group of people will resist taking any responsibility for their environment as long as they can get away with it. But instead of expressing bitterness at this human tendency towards mob-mentality, the tone was kept light and comedic.
I do have to congratulate the actors—they were all lively, and had great comedic timing. William Beddoe in particular stood out for his ability to be both hilarious, and dramatic. Scott Irving, who was responsible for sound and music, did a fantastic job and was as much a part of the show as the rest of the cast despite being hidden away in the corner.
Again, I end a review saying that this does have potential, but needs work. There were a lot of themes explored, but not enough time to explore them fully.