— a review of “The Climate Monologues” by Margie Doyle —
Update: Repeat performance on Thursday, Sept. 15 at Random Howse —
Sharon Abreu is an inspired listener. She listens to the stories of West Virginian coal mining families, NW activists, Tribal leaders, Mississippi teachers, a Colorado cowgirl and Orcas’ own Lea Bossler and tells them back to us in compelling, non scientific language about the world we live in. She heard them when they said:
- We’re taking our children’s last drink of water
- Our country is governed by the tail end until the “leaders” get out in front of what the people demand
- There’s always something left worth fighting for
Abreu took those words, heard over a two-year period, and in 2009, first staged “The Climate Monologues.” Islanders may have seen the show in 2010 at the Grange. In the current show, Abreu has updated the original version and added other monologues that have evolved since then.
Sharon will be performing “The Climate Monologues” at the United Solo Theatre Festival on Manhattan’s Theatre Row, at 410 West 42nd St. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m., (purchase tickets HERE:unitedsolo.org/us/ufest/), and last night she performed the one-woman show to a standing-room-only audience at Random Howse. She has updated the show to include events such as the recent Delta 5 occupation and the Lummi Totem Pole Journey in the stories she tells.
Sharon Abreu is a gifted actress. She tells these personal stories with simple props and local accents — that would put Meryl Streep, with her gift for authenticity, to shame — in moving, poignant vignettes of everyday people speaking the truth as they’ve experienced it.
Sharon Abreu is a clever composer, fitting the arrow of the words with the bow of rhythm and tone to send her message soaring into the air and landing straight at the heart.
Sharon Abreu is a beautiful, moving singer. She’s classically trained in opera and has wowed Orcas (One World, Brown Bag, Orcas Choral Society), Seattle (Saint Mark’s Cathedral) and United Nations’ audiences with her true, gorgeous soprano voice. She’s also humane and caring enough to lead local choirs so that the least experienced singers among us may lift our voices to sing.
Sharon Abreu is a committed community activist and climate advocate. In 2002, she started the nonprofit Irthlingz Arts-Based Environmental Education with her partner, Michael Hurwicz. She received the “Spirit of Nature, Ecology & Society” Environmental Justice Award for her performance of “The Climate Monologues” at the City University of New York, and received a standing ovation at her performance in the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival in March of 2016.
It all combines for an act as timely and galvanizing as Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind,” as the Senate Watergate Hearings, and as the publication of Unsafe at Any Speed.
Sharon and Mike carry forward the conscience and legacy of Pete Seeger, a fellow New Yorker who refused to cave at a U.S. Congressional hearing and whose life of song kept the faith with the true American heroes, those who do the best with what they have, where they’re at. We islanders have watched Sharon take her message to the LA Women’s Theatre Festival, at the “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” Peoples’ Climate Conference and to venues such as the University Unitarian Church, Seattle;Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island; Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship; Green Careers Conference, Marlborough, MA; North Parish Church, North Andover, MA; Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson, Hudson, MA;Half Hollow Hills Community Library, Dix Hills, NY; and on KSVR & KSVU Radio.
Sharon Abreu is the real thing… a Troubadour for Our Times.
So this is a call to action — we Islanders have the opportunity to see Sharon Abreu perform “Climate Monologues” NEXT Thursday night — September 15 — at Random Howse. Clyde and April Duke have agreed to make that venue available again. Will you attend?
In the words of “The Climate Monologues,” it is “one good thing” you can do.