During School Meeting on Thursday, November 9, Logan Brown '19, Dianna Georges '18, Bilal Morsi '19, Alice Thomas-Hilton '19, Abbi Tarburton '18, Phoebe Shiffman '18, and Story Hentoff '19, performed a choral reading of a poem written by Jordanian playwright Amahl Khouri called "Oh, How We Loved Our Tuna!" The five-minute poem, at times humorous and other times tragic, was about the incredible biology and precipitous population decline of the Atlantic bluefin tuna. You can watch the performance on Vimeo.
The play—which received a standing ovation at School Meeting—was part of a nationwide network of readings and performances related to climate change organized by Climate Change Theatre Action. Climate Change Theatre Action has scheduled events and performances in almost all 50 states and in over 30 different countries during the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, where delegates are currently deciding how to best implement the Paris Climate Accords. The reading at School Meeting by our students was the only Climate Change Theatre Action event that took place in Delaware.
"This reading wouldn't have happened without the support of our extended St. Andrew's family and our community," said Director of Sustainability Diana Burk. The idea to host a Climate Change Theatre Action event originally came from girls crew assistant coach Devi Lockwood, who served as a Youth Delegate to the UN Climate Change Conference in 2016, and mentioned the initiative to girls crew Head Coach Lou Berl, noting that St. Andrew's would be a "perfect fit." Berl passed the word on to Theatre Program Director Ann Taylor, who then decided to stage the reading and offer it as a volunteer opportunity to students who performed or participated in the fall play. "We experimented with three different pieces written for the program, and unanimously agreed to perform the bluefin poem," Taylor said. "The students immediately understood the subtext and underlying irony the poet was trying to convey, and the piece was extremely appealing to all of us. Given the response of the audience to certain lines and moments, it sounded like they got it too. I love using theatre to provoke change and controversy, so the entire experience was very gratifying."