The Tree Play
by Robi Polgar

Aug. 06 - Aug. 08, 2015

The Tree Play is an original agit-prop folk tale for the theatre, provoked by the deforestation of the Amazon. The play's multidisciplinary, open staging urges actors and audience to share an exploration of themes of love, survival and our kinship with Nature.

Read the synopsis of The Tree Play

The Tree Play ​Explores Love, Conservation, Survival in the Amazon Rainforest

Featuring April Perez Moore, CrystalBird Caviel, Susan Peterson, Blake Robbins, Kevin Gates, Jonathan Salazar, Huck Huckaby, Nathan Porteshawver, Toni Baum, Corinne Franks Oh and John Grewell

Choreography: Toni Bravo
Scene Design: Ia Ensterä
Costumes: Buffy Manners
Lights: Jennifer Rogers
Sound and Projections: Lowell Bartholomee

Feature by Robert Faires for the Austin Chronicle, August 8

May 3 workshop (photo via R. Polgar)In writer/director Robi Polgar’s new play, a young girl befriends a tree in the Amazon rainforest. They forge a unique bond that leads the girl on a life­long quest to protect the rainforest, while awakening a new consciousness in the tree. The play’s environmental staging and exploration of movement bring audiences up close to the action.

Years later she returns to the forest as an environmental activist. When a logger threatens to cut down the tree she rises to its defense. The girl and the logger struggle and, as they do, something magical happens.

The play’s designs call for the Ground Floor Theatre to transform into the rainforest, where audiences get to experience the story up close in an immersive setting.

Playgoers are encouraged to leave this uplifting new play with a renewed sense of mission — to become better stewards of the Earth.

A Sensory Approach to Making Theatre

The play combines performance styles to complement traditional scenes that together tell the story of the girl, the tree and the people who influence the life of the rainforest. Actors use their bodies and voices to create the environment through a range of movement, dance, choral voices and sounds.

“I want to evoke a living, breathing forest, in which the audience is arrayed as if sitting under great trees in a far­away jungle, immersed in the environment and pressed close to the action,” says writer/director Polgar. “I’m especially excited to explore how the actors can expand the sense that we are in the forest through movement, sound and rhythm.”

One Girl and One Tree: A Microcosm of the Threat to Our Rainforests

Rainforests around the world are threatened by accelerated deforestation. A​ccording the World Wildlife Fund,​approximately 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been lost in the last 50 years. The continued deforestation of rainforests around the world is having a catastrophic effect on life on earth, because these forests help mitigate climate change.

Additionally, environmentalists and others who are fighting to save the rainforest have been targets for assassination, silenced to allow the wholesale destruction of the forest to continue.

The Tree Play u​ses the story of one girl and one tree to make the point that the stakes are high in the struggle to preserve the vital forests of the Earth.

“I felt compelled to write this play after reading accounts of environmentalists murdered for trying to protect the Amazon rainforest,” says Polgar. “It’s important to me that, despite the serious message of the play, audiences come to the theatre and have a lot of fun, get to experience the unexpected and wind up deeply moved. Hopefully they’ll be inspired to think a little harder about how they can help to protect their environment.”

Polgar Returns to Directing after 10 ­Year Absence

Robi Polgar is a writer, director and musician who lives in Austin, Texas. T​he Tree Play m​arks Polgar’s return to the Austin stage after a 10­year break. Prior to taking time away from the theatre, Polgar was perpetually active as a writer, director and producer, first as co­founder and Artistic Director of The Public Domain Theatre Company o​n Congress Avenue in downtown Austin, a​nd then as an independent artist. His work has been recognized by the Austin Critics’ Table and has won numerous B. Iden Payne Awards.

The Tree Play​ is being produced with the generous assistance of Hyde Park Theatre. 

Click here to read The Tree Play (PDF).

The Tree Play
by Robi Polgar
Robi Polgar

August 06 - August 08, 2015
Ground Floor Theatre
979 Springdale Rd
Austin, TX, 78702

Buy tickets Here:
$5 – $20 (discounts for students, seniors, under-18)

Preview Wednesday, Aug. 5, 7:30 pm
Opening night: Thursday, Aug. 6, 7:30 pm
Friday, Aug. 7 (2 shows), 7:30 pm and 9:00 pm
Saturday, Aug. 8 (3 shows), 4:00 pm Family Matinee, 7:30 pm and 9:00 pm

The Tree Play runs approximately 45 minutes (no intermission).
Please bring a pillow or blanket to sit on. 
Some chairs will be available for patrons who request them.