Any Sunday is a good day to consider the well-being of planet Earth. But this Sunday isn't any Sunday.
Earlier this week the northeastern United States endured a super storm that caused billions of dollars worth of damage and killed dozens of people. Some people previously skeptical about climate change being caused by human behavior now seem to concede that our use of fossil fuels might be at least part of the catalyst for increasingly destructive storms.
So this Sunday, Nov. 4, is a particularly good time for The Great Mountain, an adventure story for children that explores the importance of caring for Mother Earth. The play, produced and performed by Toronto's Red Sky Performance, is on stage at 2 p.m. in Penn State's Eisenhower Auditorium. Three actors portray multiple characters in a play that inspires, entertains and captures the imagination of kids.
Tickets are available for the show, which is most appropriate for children in grades one through seven.
Tracey Power's play, inspired by the Northern Plains aboriginal story Jumping Mouse, focuses on a girl who discovers the transforming power of nature and the importance of courage.
The story concerns Nuna, who hears things she doesn't understand. Realizing Nuna has inherited the ability to hear the spirits of rushing rivers and soaring mountains, the girl's grandmother entrusts her to a river boatman who guides her to where a glacier is melting and the spirit of the great mountain weeps.
Does Nuna have the power to answer the mountain's cry? Do young people recognize their capacity to address environmental issues?
"… It proves to be a highly inventive staging as the three-member cast claims Jung-Hye Kim's simple set—a small range of mountains behind a double stone circle—and makes it their own," wrote a Toronto Sun reviewer.
Red Sky Performance is Canada's leading company of world indigenous productions in dance, theater, and music.
Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for the performance at no extra charge to ticket holders.
Kids Connections, featuring child-friendly art and science activities that build on nature themes in the play, is free for ticket holders and takes place in Eisenhower one hour before the show. The activities are provided in partnership with the C. Barton McCann School of Art and Science-U at Penn State. A display of nature-themed books, provided by Schlow Centre Region Library, is also included. Due to space and time restrictions, Kids Connections participation is limited.