Guest Blogger: 2017 Semi-Finalist Allie Costa

In my play BOXES ARE MAGIC, Yasmine and Cali have very different views of the world. Most of what Cali sees, she sees from the window; she never leaves the house. What will happen when the outside world comes crashing in?

BOXES ARE MAGIC was inspired by a prompt for PlayGround-LA’s Planet Earth Arts New Play Festival, which encouraged playwrights to write 10-minute plays exploring issues of planetary sustainability and caring for the natural world as well as caring for others.

Anyone who has ever cared for a pet knows the joy and frustration that comes with that responsibility, as well as the yearning to protect your pets from the outside world, to keep them safe, always. On December 4th, 2015, Quebec approved a bill officially recognizing animals as sentient beings with biological needs. According to Barbara Cartwright, the CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, “Until this law was passed, there was no distinction between a car and a cat in terms of legal rights. Anyone who has ever lived with a pet knows that animals experience emotions and feel both physical and psychological pain, but this is the first time in North America that these basic truths have been entrenched in law.”

BOXES ARE MAGIC takes a global issue and brings it home: We meet Yasmine and Cali at a tumultuous point in their lives, as their relationship is tested by something neither of them could have anticipated. What begins as a comedy is revealed to be more than meets the eye, and it ties into this year’s LBDI theme “hot mess” in a creative and compassionate way.

Global warming has significantly increased the number and size of wildfires on the planet. In August 2016, over 82,000 Southern California residents were forced to evacuate when an uncontrollable fire engulfed an area larger than the size of San Francisco. The National Wildlife Federation estimates that the overall area burned in the western United States will double by late this century. Experts predict that 25%-37% of Earth’s species will be headed for extinction by 2050 if the warming trend continues at its current rate.

We have to care for each other. We have to care for our planet. We should use our energy in a positive way, and fuel our actions with compassion and kindness.


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