Our hypothesis is that we can contribute to the fracking debate as artist-scientists creating a theatre-experiment: we will gather materials in a research and development phase modeled loosely on the scientific method, and then build a play from those materials that does not subject them to a “spin” or particular viewpoint – much as a scientist would present the results of an experiment.
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. We want to understand:
- The science behind hydraulic fracturing
- How that science is being communicated to different interested communities (landowners, geographic communities, job-seekers, politicians)
- Who’s doing the communicating (scientists, drilling companies, economists, environmentalists)