In Pathetic Fallacy, stories of failed, youthful romance are translated into the language of weather and performed by an ensemble of SFU theatre students 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.