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Set in a landscape of repurposed material, This Sinking Island uses movement and live music to tell the story of a family who must leave all they've ever known in search of a new home. Crafted with sea level rise science and climate refugee testimony, this performance builds a bridge between understanding climate science and imagining a better and more just future.



Devised by The Anthropologists

Written & Directed by Melissa Moschitto  

Original Songs by Mariah Freda

Dramaturgy by Lynde Rosario

Visual Design: Irina Kuraeva

2018 Team

Performances by:  

Kimberly Gómez, Arisael Rivera*, Katherine O’Sullivan*, Arden Winant*   *Actors’ Equity 

Stage Manager / Community Engagement: Tiffany McCue

Project Manager: Dara Epstein

Spanish Language Interpreters: Dynamics Multilingual Services

2017 Team

Performances by: Mariah Freda, P.J. Johnnie, Brianna Kalisch, Chad Anthony Miller

Assistant Director / Stage Manager:

Dominique Rider

Lighting Design: Emma K. Rivera

Mask Design: Sarah Edkins

Musical Arrangement: Adrian Bridges

Sound / Projection Design: Sadah Espii Proctor

Choreography: Rishauna Zumberg

CCTA Producer: Brian Demar Jones 

Production Assistant: Wren Mitchell 

Creative Interns: Bahar Cetinsoy, Adi Eshman 

Devising Collaborators:
Michael Ables, Sarah Edkins, Emily Ellis, Christopher Gillard, Jean Goto, Sheree Grate, Rob Reese, Rishauna Zumberg

Contributing Artists:
Armando Batista, Ben Gougeon, Arisael Rivera, Isreal Scott, Doris Vila



Upper Manhattan Tour, October 21-31:
Sugar Hill Children’s Museum • Riverstone Senior Center • YM & YWHA of Washington Heights • Hebrew Tabernacle • Inwood Library • Sherman Creek  / New York Restoration Project. 


This tour was made possible in part with funding
from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and administered by LMCC.


October 20-21: The Performance Project @ University Settlement (with Climate Change Theatre Action)

June: Uptown Arts Stroll, La Casa: Space for the Arts (Workshop Performances)

May: FEAST at Theatre Under St. Marks (Work-in-Process Showing)


“If The Sinking Island offers guidance on how to survive the coming decades, it’s to remind viewers to trust each other and remember each other’s stories.” (Grist)

“It is at the culmination of the production, when the audience is encouraged to enter the stage and cross the blue fabric themselves, that they feel the most compassion towards the climate refugees.” (Howlround)

View our research sources and found text, suggested reading list, process journal and family resources on our Investigate page.

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The script for This Sinking Island is available on New Play Exchange.


Support, insight and expertise during the creation of this project were provided by the following individuals and organizations:

Climate Change Theatre Action • La Casa, Space for the Arts • Indie Theatre Fund • Benjamin Gugeon • Alejandro Laguna, United Nations Environmental Program • Citizens Climate Lobby

Eye Care and Surgery; Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling.

CHOCnyc, Coogan's, Dichter Pharmacy, Fancy Pies, Green Juice Cafe, Headquarters Salon, Pick & Eat, Pocion, Saggio, Tannat Wine Bar, Uptown Garrison & Vines on Pine.

Phil & Meg Lauer, Vlada Yaneva, Jenny Brown Knoche, Jean Hong, Caroline Goldrick, Tim Dalton.

Read our feature in the Manhattan Times!
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