About

Lynda in her office at the Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University December 2019
Photo by Robert Cross

Ice Floe Productions Tapui Ltd

We are a green-powered, sustainable theatre production company dedicated to creating the Antarctic Theatre Trilogy. We tell powerful and moving stories set in Antarctica that address critical issues around climate change. We build on the bridge between science and the public by communicating these vital themes through theatre. 

We explore the interface between science and the arts by engaging with science communities and alternative energy solutions in each of our theatre productions. Our team creates innovative green-technology, such as specially designed LED theatre lighting and sound designs, to bring productions to life within theatre venues anywhere around the country. Our productions draw on a tenth of the power of normal theatre productions. We recycle where we can. 

Ice Floe Productions began with the premiere of HEAT, the first play in the Antarctic Theatre Trilogy. HEAT – a love story between a woman, a man and a penguin, is set in 1999, within a scientist’s hut marooned on the Ross Ice Shelf during the endless night of winter. HEAT was the world’s first alternatively powered play to perform off-the-grid within theatre venues at arts festivals across the Aotearoa. 

History: HEAT started as a playwright’s commission with Circa Theatre in 2002. HEAT premiered with the STAB Festival at BATS Theatre Wellington, innovatively utilising alternative energy to power the productions lights and sound off-the-grid. The alternatively energy design was upgraded to become completely green-powered by solar panels and wind turbine during the national tour of HEAT from 2010 to 2011.

HEAT’s green powered play saw its final touring season at Circa Theatre in 2011. HEAT was remounted for a season at The Basement Theatre, Auckland in July 2019. 

HOLE is the second play in the trilogy. HOLE is another love story between a Greenpeace Activist, a Marine from American Samoa and a scientist from New Zealand’s Scott Base. HOLE is set in 1986-7 during the discovery of the ozone hole over Antarctica, when Greenpeace were setting up their World Park Base at Cape Evans to protest mineral exploitation of the continent, and the ban against women visiting the Ice had only been lifted a little over a decade previously. 

HEART the third play in the trilogy, is currently being researched and written. HEART is set in 1958, during the International Geophysical Year.

HOLE is happening now … 22-26 September 2020 

A scientist, an activist, a Marine, and one huge HOLE

In 1985 the world wakes to the discovery of the ozone hole over Antarctica.

Its Wild West days at McMurdo Station and Scott Base. It is little more than a decade since the US Navy lifted their ban on women travelling to the ice. Stella, a NZ scientist, Ioane, a US marine from American Samoa, and Bonny, a Greenpeace activist, meet during one Antarctic summer. What unfolds is as dark, funny, and monumental as the discovery of the ozone hole itself.

The second play in Lynda Chanwai-Earle’s Antarctic Trilogy, HOLE builds on the innovative use of green-powered energy as used in the award-winning HEAT. 

‘Considered on a global scale, the decision of the HEAT production team to experiment with alternative energy sources highlights the unsustainability of our current first world practices. Both provocative and moving HEAT will remain in my consciousness for a long time to come’ — Sharon Matthews, Theatreview

Part of The Women’s Theatre Festival (WTF!) 2020

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