‘Albatross’ the film and play both coming to PSU

STATE COLLEGE — A film and a stage production, both with the title “Albatross” are finding their way onto a Penn State stage and movie screen this month.

THE FILM

A free public screening of the film “Albatross” will be shown tomorrow at 12 p.m., and at 7 p.m. July 16 at the Penn State Downtown Theatre, 146 S. Allen St.

Following the July 16 showing, a panel discussion moderated by Rick Lombardo, Penn State Centre Stage’s artistic director, will be held with experts who specialize in consumer behavior, and the impacts of micro plastics on marine environments.

“Albatross,” a film by artist Chris Jordan, is billed as “A powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishing symbolic environmental tragedy.”

On a remote island, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic.

The film, according to Jordan, looks deeply into sadness, grief, beauty and love.

“When we allow ourselves to feel our sadness or what is being lost in our world, then we connect with the part of ourselves that loves our world,” Jordan said. “In this way, coming to know the true nature of grief can be a liberating experience.”

Using high definition digital cinematography, “Albatross” depicts the newly emerging issue of ocean plastic pollution.

Some portions of the film are disturbing and not intended for younger audiences.

THE PLAY

Benjmin Evett is co-producer and playwright of “Albatross,” which has 8 p.m. performances tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday, and July 17-20 at Penn State’s Downtown Theatre.

This live production incorporates the relevance of the film’s primary issue into the play’s script. “Albatross” takes on incredibly timely issues like climate change, the cruelty of humans to each other and to life on the planet, and our need to be mindful of the effect we are having, Evett said.

“Albatross” is based upon The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and the Mariner shows tenderness and cruelty, defies nature, and ultimately moves from the random acts to accepting that there is a price associated on how we live our lives. A fundamental theme of the story is how our little thoughtless actions have consequences.

As a bonus of sorts for area theatergoers, the playwright Benjamin Evett stars in this production, with Rick Lombardo directing the last of Penn State Centre Stage’s three summer attractions.

“Albatross” has been dubbed “rough and uncouth, funny and harsh, iconic and unforgettable.”

For more info, call 814-863-0255 or visit www.theatre.psu.edu.

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