When Alanna Mitchell, “a girl from the Prairies who doesn’t even like the water,” covers a story about the state of our ocean and all of its organisms, the story does not only take over her life, it becomes her life. This brilliant Environmental Journalist takes on the role of a Marine Biologist, exploring the global ocean, collecting samples, observing the sexual energy of the corals, and being immersed three-thousand feet underwater in a vessel, while not being quite sure if she will make it out alive.
Based on her best-selling book of the same name, Alanna Mitchell’s Sea Sick, directed by Franco Boni with Ravi Jain, is the very first production in The Theatre Centre’s new home. Sea Sick is a shockingly honest depiction of our planet that forces us to come to terms with the fact that the world’s ocean is in a state of crisis. Carbon dioxide levels and acidity levels have increased drastically since the 18th century Industrial Revolution, leaving our global ocean to continue to become “warm, breathless and sour.” Creatures are leaving their ecosystems in search of cooler, less acidic waters. Ocean wildlife is dieing. And it’s because of us.
This performance is a fusion of an inspirational university lecture, an engrossing storytelling session, and a prize-winning feature article. It is an intelligent and informative piece of theatre that teaches its audience one of the most crucial lessons they can learn about our planet Earth.
The lighting design by Rebecca Picherack perfectly accents Mitchell’s story at just the right moments, taking us through her journey, both above ground and deep, deep underwater. The show ends with the lights shining back on the audience. The story isn’t over yet.
Sea Sick is a riveting and mentally stimulating seventy minutes of unpredictable and unsettling information aimed at provoking change. We have caused this global crisis, but Mitchell doesn’t point the finger at any one of us. In order to initiate change, we first need to acknowledge the problem and be able to forgive ourselves and each other in order to move forward. Sea Sick is that initial step towards a better tomorrow.
Sea Sick is playing at The Theatre Centre until March 23rd. Tickets: $25-$30. For tickets visit ticketwise.ca, or call 416-538-0988.
Photo credit: Chloë Ellingson