Sojourner ZY is an original play written by Eugenie Chan. Performed by ShadowLight Productions in their signature style of large-scale cinematic shadow theater. Featuring original music by Paul Dresher. Directed by Larry Reed.
ABOUT SOJOURNER ZY
In a not-so-distant future, the Earth Federation has sent out spaceships to scour the universe for the resources necessary to sustain an environmentally depleted and damaged Earth. We follow the mission of Sojourner ZY, who pilots the last surviving spacecraft, as he communicates with Earth Federation’s Mission Control and with his wife scientist and devoted children, who struggle to survive on Earth’s ever-more precarious environment. As he desperately tries to sack strange new worlds of their resources, he confronts uncomfortable choices and unforeseen consequences.
Audiences will be immersed in a primal, yet futuristic landscape of sound from composer Paul Dresher’s invented instruments, cinematic-scale shadow puppet imagery, and a fantastical story that follows the interplanetary journey of the space traveler Sojourner ZY. On his journey, he encounters a dizzying array of uniquely adapted and strange civilizations. The story is told via projected and live shadow sequences with dialogue and songs, and seeks to address vital issues of all time—race, gender, identity, and the environmental crisis.
In ZY’s galactic travel, he encounters an array of contrasting societies, from the uber-authoritarian to the uber-altruistic: in a liquid world where beings shape-shift among sexes, ethnic, and sexual identities within miniature bubble-spheres in total anarchic paradise (until it’s not); a moonscape of mammal-headed creatures who find abundance by adopting the animal mind to live harmoniously with nature and who follow an authoritarian leader, (until they do not); and a light-filled asteroid of intangible beings—all female—who thrive by turning themselves into pure light and sound. While each alternative offers a solution to mankind’s survival, each also yields a flaw that threatens ZY’s vision of humanity and mankind itself.
ZY seeks common cause with these mysterious entities. But in this pursuit, he is challenged to confront age-old beliefs about mankind’s place in the natural world and the cosmos itself. By dint of his own conception of being human, is he destined to keep replicating the actions that led to the Earth’s destruction in the first place? To confront this dilemma, he must journey deep into his own Being. His travel ends with the greatest challenge, in a journey to the ultimate planet—that of the sphere of the Self.
News from Eugenie, your playwright. Thanks for reading!