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You are viewing an archive of the 2004 EMOS festival site at Humboldt State University.
For the 2012 EMOS Festival, go to

Ecodrama Playwrights Festival 2004
Winner and Finalists

Out of 147 submitted plays, these six plays were selected as finalists. These finalists were submitted anonymously (ie: the playwrights names were withheld) to a National Panel of Distinquished Theatre Artists for adjudication.

ODIN'S HORSE by Robert Koon - WINNER 2004
Arman, a writer adrift in the comforts of sudden and unexpected success, struggles to orient himself in his newly altered circumstances. While a new romantic relationship leads him into a rarified social circle, in the redwood forest he encounters a treesitter whose commitment causes him to consider the bargains we all make to get the things we want.

In Nordic mythology, Odin hung from the tree of life (whose name, Yggdrasil, roughly translates as "Odin's Horse") so that, suspended between heaven and earth, he might learn the secret of the runes. Poised between the two poles of his own intractable problem, Arman reaches for the thing outside himself, the commitment that will set his life in motion once again.

GIRL SCIENCE by Larry Loebell - 1st Runner Up
Dr. Johanna Vernon, an eminent limnologist (water biologist), is interviewed for a biography by her grand niece, Lois Allen, an up-and-coming historian.
Lois views her great aunt as one of the "forgotten pioneers of science". As a reluctant participant at first, and then more willingly, Johanna tells Lois stories from her seemingly charmed girlhood. But was it? As Lois's researches Johanna's past, she uncovers a startling tragedy which, when revealed, changes both women's lives.

TRUE NATURE OF ALL BEING by Lisa A. Giordano - Honorable Mention
During 1970 in a Japanese fishing town clustered with tiny villages, many people suffer severe illness and even death from mercury poisoning contracted by eating fish and shellfish from the local bay. The Moriya Family struggles to move forward with life despite the disease that has crippled their youngest daughter and divided their town. Their oldest daughter, who escaped the illness, discovers she is pregnant and wants to leave the village to protect her unborn child from the disease. Her decision causes great conflict in her family. This conflict raises other sensitive issues and forces the family to confront themselves and their family relationships, as well as their town, the polluting chemical factory, and the world around them.

THE BASKETMAKER by David M. Baughan - Honorable Mention
In 1725, Molly Sekatau, an itinerant Abenaki basketmaker, arrives to ply her wares at the New Hampshire frontier homestead of Elizabeth Sayers, a widow, and her teenage daughter, Rachel. Molly remains to assist Rachel with the autumn harvest and provide healing care to the injured mother.  Molly discovers the daughter's intuitive gifts and encourages them, much to the displeasure of Elizabeth.  A struggle for Rachel's soul ensues with dire consequences that lead to a revisioning of one of the most haunting chapters in American history.

ENDANGERED SPECIES by Jason D. Martin - Finalist
At the most extreme Northwestern tip of Washington State lies a small Native American Reservation where the remnants of an ancient tribe still live. In 1999, the Makah called upon their treaty rights stating they had the legal authority to hunt for the gray whale.  That was the year they climbed into tiny canoes and chased two-ton animals with spears.  That was the year the protestors came.  That was the year the media came.  That was the year of dissention among members of the tribe.  That was the year of fighting and of tradition.  That was the year they went on a whale hunt...

Inspired by these true-life events, Endangered Species is an epic exploration of the whale hunt and of the people behind this event.  It is a powerful drama about culture and racism, religion and tradition, environmentalism and violence...  This is a play about people coming to terms with the modern world that they live in and of the ancient world that has been lost to them.  The play poses a very serious and controversial question:  What is closer to the brink of extinction, the gray whale or the Makah culture?

THE FIREBRINGER by Judy GeDeBauer - Finalist
1943. While the world is at war and Joe DiMaggio tries to maintain his hitting streak, a mill town in the Pacific Northwest fights its own battle against a relentless forest fire, months out of control. The fire attracts the press and assorted strangers, some down on their luck, some running from their past. The tiny community has redefined itself as a fortress against calamity and a haven to outcasts, but as it becomes apparent that someone may be keeping this fire alive, the town undergoes another change of identity, and becomes a mob.