Hole in the Sky

A World Premiere by Octavio Solis

Produced by Circle X Theatre at Courtship Ranch Lake View Terrace, CA

Even-handed in its treatment of diverse characters, the play does not seek to demonize anyone. Rather, it dramatizes an unfolding environmental disaster on a scale not seen since the Dust Bowl.
— Kathleen Foley, LA Times

Photos by Jeff Galfer

Inspiration

Originally, this began as THE CHERRY ORCHARD PROJECT. I approached Octavio about doing an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard about my hometown. We interviewed around 30 people from my community and then Octavio went off to write. As he started crafting the piece, he realized that it needed to be something all of it’s own. The theme of cultural change and some character traits remained, but the play really became Octavio’s.

(L-R) Bill Salyers, Sara Bruner, Chris Salazar   (Photo by Stan Krute)

(L-R) Bill Salyers, Sara Bruner, Chris Salazar

(Photo by Stan Krute)

Siskiyou County Workshop

The workshop of Hole in the Sky in Siskiyou County in September 2017 was one of the most memorable theatrical experiences I have ever had. There is a weight to showing a play to the community it is based on, especially if that community is the one in which you spent the first 17 years of your life…AND especially if the play has a catestrophic fire and a wildfire is looming a few miles from your hometown…AND especially if your lead actress is poised at the top of a mountain pass ready either to cancel and run back to OSF to go on for an actor who has inhaled too much smoke or rush down into CA just in time for your reading.

(L-R) Tom Menne, Ric Costales, Rosario Aragon, Melanie Fowle, Prairie Spaulding, Mary Carpelan

(L-R) Tom Menne, Ric Costales, Rosario Aragon, Melanie Fowle, Prairie Spaulding, Mary Carpelan

The Interviewees

The amount of time people generously spent with us was unbelievable! We interviewed local tribal members, farmers, ranchers, firefighters, government employees, biologists, ranchers, loggers, artists, and teachers. Their stories inspired Octavio and over the course of two years, he carved a script that captured the complexity an nuance of their lives.