Playwright Abi Basch collaborated with SNAP (Some New Arts Project) to create Arctic Hysteria, a new, multimedia theater performance inspired by King Lear, set in a kingdom of melting ice. The play’s title comes from a condition associated with northernmost Inuit societies. Basch worked with a team of collaborating Bay Area and international artists, including Jessica Heidt of SNAP, members of Kinderdeutsch Projekts, director Else Marie Laukvik, designer Sue Rees, costume designer Irina Kruzhilina, and Electro-acoustic composer Paula Matthusen. The partners developed the play through workshops in 2010 and 2011.
This project began as a collaboration with Climate Theater and its then artistic director Jessica Heidt as the organizational partners. The theater’s need to move to a new space and changes in its leadership made the original partnership untenable. However, the project’s themes, content, and most collaborators remained consistent when SNAP stepped into Climate’s former role.
Lead artist Abi Basch is a playwright of experimental, historically based, physical theater plays and performance installations. Her works have been produced professionally in the Bay Area and by companies and festivals across the country and internationally.