State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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Eco-Theater Engages Visitors at Lamont-Doherty’s Open House

By Jane Rebecca Marchant

Superhero Clubhouse Performs “Salty Folk” Photo Credit: Jane Rebecca Marchant
Superhero Clubhouse Performs “Salty Folk.” (Jane Rebecca Marchant)

On Oct. 11, Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory celebrated another successful open house at the Lamont Campus in Palisades, N.Y. Among the many scientists and curious guests in attendance was Superhero Clubhouse, a collective of artists and environmental advocates working at the intersection of science and theater. Invited by PositiveFeedback, The Earth Institute’s consortium designed to support the collaborations of artists and scientists focused on climate change, Superhero Clubhouse returned for their fourth consecutive open house to perform a 20-minute “sneak peek” of their current musical project, Salty Folk.

Superhero Clubhouse Photo Credit: Jane Rebecca Marchant
Superhero Clubhouse.         (Jane Rebecca Marchant)

Created by Jeremy Pickard and Nate Weida, Salty Folk applies humor for all ages while discussing the history and importance of New York Harbor through the “eyes” of five oysters: Brook, Manny, Bronxy, Queeny and Stats. The performance, which is still under development and will premiere in 2015, incorporates keyboard, banjo and singing to keep the audience constantly engaged in its message of conservation. Pickard says, “We hope to tour Salty Folk to schools, theaters and ecology organizations around the East Coast, engaging audiences in conversation about the changing waterways and the ecological histories of our urban centers.”

Additional actors Jay Felix, Vanessa Pereda-Felix, and Kelly Rogers, along with production assistance from John Le and Harry Poster, will work in collaboration with oyster experts from Columbia University and other environmental scientists to combine “revolutionary theater and ecological consciousness.” To learn more or see upcoming shows, visit their website,

Jane Rebecca Marchant is an undergraduate student in the School of General Studies studying creative writing (nonfiction), with special interests in photography and sustainable development. She will be graduating May 2015.

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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