As the warm outdoor season comes to a close into Santa Fe, a performance about an expedition across the steamy Amazon resulting in death, disease and a lone survivor is sure to satisfy anyone’s itch for adventure. Director Barbara Hatch and screenwriter Laura Marsh present a staged reading of Across the Amazons as part of a series of similar events by BlackShirtReads, a group that puts on table reads of screenplays. This historical adventure recounts the true story of Isabel Grameson Godin, a woman who, in 1769, left her aristocratic life in colonial Peru (now Ecuador) to embark on a perilous journey through the Amazon jungle in search of her 20-years-absent husband in French Guiana. As a not-so-young (for her era) woman of 40, Godin wound up alone in the Amazon for a month after everyone in her expedition betrayed her, fled or died. Godin survived insect infestations, loss of supplies and other calamities to reunite with her love. Music and a slideshow set the scene for the performance.
“I learned about the story of this incredible woman when I was working in Ecuador where there are a couple of monuments to her,” Marsh, who is also a professional tropical ecologist, tells SFR. “For me, the story of Isabel’s journey across the South American continent is miraculous. I have gear and water-wicking pants and local guides and a place to sleep at night, if only a tent; Isabel had nothing but her strong spirit to keep her alive.” Marsh was so impressed she named one of five new species of flying saki monkeys she discovered after Isabel (Pithecia Isabela).
After the performance and a short Q&A, Marsh speaks on her upcoming 2017 scientific expedition dubbed “Houseboat Amazon.” In a remote corner of Brazil, she and her crew plan to search for lost types of saki monkeys that she describes as “fluffy, ugly-ish cats that run on tops of trees.” A houseboat will serve as a field station for Marsh’s own modern-day adventure. (Christina Selby)
Across the Amazons
6:30 pm Tuesday Oct. 18. $5-$8.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,
By the time you read this, poet Michael J Wilson will have churned out at least 226 poems this year alone through his poem-a-day project. He’ll also have a book out. Titled A Child of Storm, Wilson explores the life of inventor Nikola Tesla in a narrative-esque fashion. “I’ve always thought of Tesla as this sort of tragic figure,” Wilson says. “He came to represent this patron saint of untapped creativity to me.” Released by local imprint Stalking Horse Press, the works found in Child kind of sneak up on you, but they’re masterful, bridging the gap between poetry lovers and the terminally invulnerable. (Alex De Vore)
Following the InfluenceJuxtaposition is the name of the game in the upcoming exhibit Neo.Tribal, opening at City of Mud this Friday. The presentation of African ceremonial objects, such as metal figurines, masks and textiles from never-before-seen private collections, appears alongside a selection of contemporary paintings. “The idea is showcasing African artifacts next to modern art,” says curator Sasha Pyle. “If you think of Picasso or other painters who were very influenced by African design, you can truly see that connection in this show.” Part of the proceeds are donated to Charitywater, an organization that drills wells in Africa, providing communities with access to clean water. (Maria Egolf-Romero)
Dramatic Connections“In August of 1939, on the brink of WWII, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry visited Charles and Anne Lindbergh,” playwright John Orlock tells SFR. This was about seven years after the Lindberghs famously lost their firstborn son, and Orlock believes Saint-Exupéry’s time with the superstar aviator and his wife was the inspiration for The Little Prince. Also subsequently inspired was Orlock’s own work, The End of Summer Guest, a piece that gets the staged reading treatment during the Santa Fe Playhouse’s Different Festival. Orlock continues, “It’s about coming to the rescue, and about how you continue in the face of overwhelming loss.” (ADV)
The Different Festival: The End of Summer Guest Staged Reading:
2 pm Saturday Oct. 15. $10.
The Santa Fe Playhouse,
142 E DeVargas St.,