Pathetic Fallacy


ROLE: Libretto/Music/Performance/Direction

DATE: May 2014, September 2014

LOCATION: Studio T, School for Contemporary Arts, SFU (premiere); Fox Cabaret, Accordion Noir Festival 2014

PRODUCED BY: Barbara Adler & Ten Thousand Wolves


DESIGN: Kyla Gardiner

CAST: Megan Stewart, Keely O'Brien, Beverly Cheung, Jessica Hood, Andrew Ferguson


In Pathetic Fallacy, stories of failed, youthful romance are translated into the language of weather and performed by an ensemble of SFU theatre collaborators backed by a nine-piece chamber-rock band. Featuring ’snowmaggedons’ and ‘snowpocalypses' alongside folk-sayings, maritime storm faxes and 16th-century names for mist, Pathetic Fallacy uses language to trace our everyday entanglement in weather. The result is a wry musical report on our messy affairs: with each other, and with our warming planet.

To create the libretto, Barbara recorded and transcribed stories told to her by five actors working in Simon Fraser University’s Black Box Theater ensemble. Inspired by the teen-disaster songs made famous by 1960s girl pop group The Shangri-las (Leader of the Pack, Remember: Walking in the Sand), Barbara asked the actors to tell her tragic love stories from their own lives. What initially started as a search for the emotional equivalents to hurricanes and flash floods was rewarded with a set of everyday narratives showcasing squishy first kisses, instant-messaging tragi-comedies and the kind of long let-down that leaves you binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on your parents’ couch. The band featured Juno award winner Skye Brooks/Kevin Romain (drums), Peggy Lee (cello), Samuel Davidson (clarinet), Gavin Youngish (guitar), James Meger (bass), Barbara Adler (accordion) and Shannon Scott, Juhli Connlin and Emily of the Company B Singers. Dramaturgy by DD Kugler. Design by Kyla Gardiner.