State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Cool Dip: New play about Africa and water conservation at Playwrights Horizons

cool-dip-bluePlaying now through April 11th, Kia Corthron’s A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK tells the story of an African preacher-in-training, Abebe, who arrives in a drought-stricken American town to further his studies in water conservation and religion. Hosted by a mother and daughter haunted by tragedy, Abebe must prepare to battle the personal and political forces threatening the ecology of his new home.


Playwright Kia Corthron shares her inspiration for the play—the varied experiences that found their way into her complexly human exploration of global water issues…


Kia Corthron
Kia Corthron

In January 2007, I traveled with the Foundry Theatre, who partnered with Ma-Yi Theater Company and Hip-Hop Theater Festival, to the World Social Forum in Nairobi. Sixty-six thousand internationals descending upon the Kenyan capital, and of the literally thousands of political sessions, I was most drawn to the ones focusing on water: who has access, who doesn’t, and the consequential power structure. On the edge of the city, where remarkably few of the activists ventured, was Kibera, an enormous slum.  My fellow traveler Katy Savard befriended and introduced us to Kiberan resident Kennedy Odede, the 23-year-old director of a local community center (in a space that Americans would consider a shack but which held for Kiberans boundless possibilities) from which a youth theater had been founded.

In Kibera there is no running water.  I stood on a hideous cement bridge staring down at the filthy grey stream, its banks crammed with garbage.  When Kennedy and his partner came to visit us in our hotel, they joked about bathing in the fountain outside, its constant fall of sparkling clear water.  Kennedy spent the night in one of our rooms, and in the morning twisted the shower handle, awed by the confidence that water would invariably flow from the spigot.  This was the beginning of A Cool Dip before I knew there would be A Cool Dip.
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Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theater
416 West 42nd Street
New York, NY  10036

Ticket Prices: $50.00

Student Rush tickets are only $15 with valid student ID, or use code CDGR for specially discounted tickets for the Earth Institute community.

Performance Dates:
March 4, 2010 – April 11, 2010

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Ticket Central

Follow the Columbia Water Center on Twitter: http://twitter.com/columbiawater

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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