THE FRACKING PLAY
a theatrical experiment
click to [view our project proposal] – and let us know what you think
(this diagram is an oversimplification of the fracking process – do not worry, we understand this)
Over the past several years, hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), a method of extracting natural gas and oil by pumping a water/chemical mixture into shale deposits, has become an increasingly important part of local and state economies – and come under increasing public scrutiny. Responding to mounting pressure, the Environmental Protection Agency began a focused study of fracking in 2010, with initial research results expected by the end of 2012. Two of four states being targeted for retrospective case studies by the EPA as part of this larger study are Pennsylvania and North Dakota, home to two of the largest natural gas deposits in North America, the Bakken and the Marcellus Shale – and, incidentally, home to our own roots: Patrick is a North Dakota baby. Cory is Pennsylvanian through and through.
So we’ve been asking ourselves: How do we, as theatremakers, want to join the fracking debate raging in our home states? How can theatre make a meaningful contribution to this discussion?
Asking this question was how “the fracking play” was born.
We first saw the dramatic possibility in the process of hydraulic fracturing when we noticed the violent and extreme language often used by its critics to describe, or perform, the process for laypeople. As we begin to explore the layers of the fracking debate, which involves elements as varied as states’ rights, local economies and job markets, public safety, land use, and more, we keep coming back to this question of communication.
In the following pages, you can learn a bit more about what we’re hoping to do and how. It’s a work in progress, and we always invite your input. Comment on this entry, or write to Cory/Patrick individually.