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New Climate Change Comedy Uses Laughs To Tackle Tough Questions

Promotional photo showing four women confronting an alien in high water.
Courtesy of Women's Theatre Festival

Imagine a world in which almost every town is flooded and most people are living in temporary shelters. It is unclear what has caused the flooding or if waters will recede any time soon, and government officials are not being transparent about what is going on. This is the plot of the new play from Women's Theatre Festival, called "Waters Rise."

And despite what appear to be dark topics, the play is filled with laughter and comedy. Host Frank Stasio talks to playwright Justine Wiesinger, who was inspired to write the play after spending time in Tokyo after the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011. Wiesinger is an assistant professor of Japanese at Bates College.

Stasio also talks to director Ashley Popio and actors Laurel Ullman and Jessica Flemming. Popio is the artistic director of the Women’s Theatre Festival; Ullman is the festival’s literary manager and Flemming is a member of the play reading committee. “Waters Rise” will be on stage at Shadowbox Studios in Durham from Thursday, Oct. 10 to Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13.

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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