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EcoTheater for the Global Village:

Giants in the Wilderness by G. Thomson Fraser

EcoTheater for the Global Village - Giants in the Wilderness book cover

( from the publisher's press release; January 26, 2009 )

EcoTheater for the Global Village:
Giants in the Wilderness
by G. Thomson Fraser
Xlibris Corporation

Three Environmental Dramas featured in "EcoTheater for the Global Village"

Three plays that confront environmental issues from an adult as well as a child's perspective are featured in "EcoTheater for the Global Village," recently published by Xlibris, a strategic partner of Random House. Featured are G. Thomson Fraser's, "Giants in the Wilderness," and two children's theater dramas, MacKenzie Louise Coffman's, "Forest Hideout," and Rebekah Lovat Fraser's "The Tree and the Village."

Harold Wood, education chairman for the environmentally-focused Sierra Club, was the inspiration behind the book. He contacted G. Thomson Fraser about her play, "Giants in the Wilderness" and suggested that it be published, along with children's dramas with an environmental theme.

"Giants in the Wilderness" features John Muir, the Scottish naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, and his role in the birth of the environmental movement in the late 19th century. "Wilderness" contains a Forestry Chautauqua Prologue and post-play Epilogue by Joseph K. Smith which can be used to open a discussion with the audience. The drama was funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and matching funds from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management's Conservation Trust Fund. "Wilderness" toured as part of the 1997 Centennial Celebration of the Massachusetts State Forest and Park System.

Drama critic Richard Duckett, writing for the Worcester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, characterized "Wilderness" as a history lesson. "By 1896, the destruction of America's forest wilderness had become so rampant many people believed that unless something was done soon, there wouldn't be any wilderness left... Three naturalists - John Muir, Charles Sprague Sargent and Gifford Pinchot - had divergent opinions on the best way to save them."

MacKenzie Louise Coffman's children's theater piece, "Forest Hideout" is the story of two children, a brother and sister, who take matters into their own hands to save the family farm. Coffman is a fifth grade student in Western Massachusetts. A televised production of her play is planned for the Summer 2009 with Coffman playing the role of Isabel.

Rebekah Lovat Fraser's "The Tree and the Village" is an environmentally instructive fable, a mythological saga that engages the audience and is a visual feast for children of all ages. Lovat Fraser is a graduate in Film Studies from Yale University and mother of MacKenzie.

In the Preface to EcoTheater for the Global Village," G. Thomson Fraser observes, "We humans have taken center stage in a worldwide drama to preserve the planet that only the gods of antiquity might find amusing... Theater is now challenged to take up environmental global concerns, to serve as a tool for our continued survival."

About the Author

Playwright G. Thomson Fraser is a professor, journalist, poet and novelist. Her nonfiction novel, In the Claw of the Tiger is based on the true story of a survivor of the Bataan Death March and POW camps in the Philippines and Japan. Fraser holds a BA in Theater and Communications and an MFA in Playwriting.

For more about the play, see Giants in the Wilderness listing on Lewis Heniford's Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online

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