Photo by Fiona Baker
Tickets for the online reading are free but require reservation. There is a suggested donation to the Process Series of $10.00.
by Jim Grimsley
Reading directed by Joseph Megel
Streaming online April 16 & 17 at 7:30 p.m.
A Reading of a New Play
presented by StreetSigns and the Process Series
Cascade takes us to the not-so-distant future where the climate crisis before us now, is then in the rearview mirror and society is breaking down, resources are scarce, and people are on the move. Only Grimsley could find both terror and tenderness in this strange new world.
APRIL MAE DAVIS
stage directions reader WESLEY HARWOOD WOOD
Dovie Thomason. Photo from Menlo Park Library
April Mae Davis
Joseph Megel, artistic director of both The Process Series and StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, and the director of this reading, is looking forward to sharing with audiences the development of this crucial new play. “Any time we have an opportunity to work on a play by Jim Grimsley, we leap at the chance. Cascade is especially exciting because StreetSigns has been looking for a work that addresses our current climate crisis in a way that could galvanize audiences. This is that play.”
In February 2020, Jim Grimsley and three other playwrights were asked to answer a forty-eight-hour challenge to write a full-length play responding to “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming,” by David Wallace-Wells. Grimsley’s response, Cascade, is a brilliant work, written in a fever, responding to our feverish world, caught up in a climate emergency, drowning in over-heated rhetoric and starving for a coherent, coordinated response. “When I was approached about writing a play in response to this crisis, I wasn’t sure I had anything to add. I wasn’t sure there was a story that would come to me. I was somewhat surprised and more than a little pleased that this one did.”
Jim Grimsley was born in rural eastern North Carolina and was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying writing with Doris Betts and Max Steele. He has published short stories and essays in various quarterlies, including DoubleTake, New Orleans Review, Carolina Quarterly, the New Virginia Review, the LA Times, and the New York Times Book Review. Jim’s first novel Winter Birds, was published in the United States by Algonquin Books in the fall of 1994. Winter Birds won the Sue Kaufman Prize for best first novel from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. He has published other novels, including Dream Boy, Kirith Kirin, and My Drowning. His books are available in Hebrew, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese. He has also published a collection of plays and most recently a memoir, How I Shed My Skin. His body of work as a prose writer and playwright was awarded the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2005. For twenty years he taught writing at Emory University in Atlanta. jimgrimsley.net
“When I was approached about writing a play in response to this crisis, I wasn’t sure I had anything to add. I wasn’t sure there was a story that would come to me. I was somewhat surprised and more than a little pleased that this one did.”
-- Jim Grimsley
“Any time we have an opportunity to work on a play by Jim Grimsley, we leap at the chance. Cascade is especially exciting because StreetSigns has been looking for a work that addresses our current climate crisis in a way that could galvanize audiences. This is that play.”
-- Joseph Megel
The streaming of this reading is meant for private viewing only and may not be used for any other purpose. Under no circumstances may this be shared or duplicated. This reading has been made available in partnership with employees represented by Stage Directors & Choreographers Society and Actors' Equity Association
This work is made possible, in part, by funding from the Chatham Arts Council. This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.