The Extinction Project: Scientific And Ethnographic Research Through Playwriting
Derek Lee Barton

» read script: The Extinction Project

Additional Media Files referred to in the script:

1. Appendix A (pdf)

2. Fig. 2: Smilax makes you smile (video, below)

3. Fig. 6: Dusky Seaside Sparrow call (audio, .wav)

4. Fig. 19: From the Columbiad, by Anthony Philip Heinrich, “Die Welt umnachtend braust vom West.” (audio, mp3)

Derek Lee Barton (PhD, Northwestern) is a playwright, performance artist, and scholar whose recent work explores how performance practice and theory can respond meaningfully to ecological concerns. His scholarship has appeared in Readings in Performance and Ecology and Education, Citizenship and Social Justice. Derek’s solo show, “Professor Rikvold and the Giant Squid,” was featured in Chicago’s “Around the Coyote” Festival. Two of his plays, “Billy: A Post-Apocalyptic Comedy,” and “The Submarine Mare and Other Hindoo Tales,” have also been produced.

Derek's dissertation project, “Staging Nature: Ecology, Performance, and Environments,” examines performative exhibition practices in zoos and gardens, social performance in public nature places, and radical approaches to eco-performance practice in the theater and beyond. His artistic career began with Terry Galloway and Donna Nudd's radical community theater company, The Mickee Faust Club. His short film “Cremmate: Muffy” has been doing the rounds of film festivals in the U.S. and abroad, and his controversial sketch “Disability Factor,” about a Fear Factor-esque reality show for the disabled, is now available on the DVD compilation “Mickee Faust’s Gimp Parade.” In addition, Derek has directed, produced, and collaborated on numerous other projects, including "Other Pleasures," which was honored as “Most Creative Event of the Year” by the Northwestern Graduate School, a clown show about animals entitled "Happy Families" with colleague Barnaby King, and a series of workshops in the Czech Republic on Holocaust education with the Minnesota Historical Theater Workshop.

The Extinction Project is the culmination of years of fieldwork along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and relates Derek's encounter with North Florida's vanishing wild places set against the backdrop of the 2010 Deepwater Horizons spill.

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