Water has long been a defining issue of the American West, affecting state borders, agriculture, economics, immigration and settlement—and now climate change. This multidisciplinary event will bring theatre and the earth sciences together to explore the lack of water in the American West and the fragility of our land.
Theatre and earth sciences intersect in “Lost Borders,” a multidisciplinary event exploring the lack of water in the American West and the fragility of our land. Water has long been a defining issue of the American West, affecting state borders, agriculture, economics, immigration and settlement—and now it is a major factor in the climate-change crisis. The event will combine a play, The Chisera by USC playwright Paula Cizmar, with a multimedia presentation of desert images and a conversation facilitated by USC geologist Sarah J. Feakins.
“Lost Borders” takes its name from the work of iconoclastic early-twentieth-century nature writer Mary Hunter Austin, who told stories of the High Desert and the water wars of the Owens Valley, warning of the fragility of the place and the need for humans to tread lightly. The Chisera connects Austin’s life and work to a present-day scientist who is reeling from tragedy. The powerful play blurs the borders of time, consciousness and reality, and lays out the lasting consequences of ignoring the effects of human life on the natural world.
Organized by Paula Cizmar (Dramatic Arts), Sarah J. Feakins (Earth Science) and Tom Ontiveros (Dramatic Arts). Co-sponsored by the Earth Science Communication Initiative at USC Annenberg, USC Sustainability and Clean Tech Los Angeles.