NewEnergyNews: MISREPRESENTING WIND ON THE STAGE

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    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    MISREPRESENTING WIND ON THE STAGE

    Theater Review: The wind energy battle continues

    James Lowe, February 17, 2013 (Barre Montpelier Times Argus)

    “The power of the wind energy controversy is continually growing in Vermont, but in Lesley Becker’s new play, “Winds of Change,” it’s downright war…[T]his troubling and, at times, touching drama…[is] an intense and sensitive performance that would appease wind energy foes, and possibly enrage supporters.

    “In an anonymous Northeast Kingdom town, wind energy and the electric company have arrived. Bob is ready to lease his failing farm to the electric company. But, his daughter Deirdre and their neighbor Mary angrily object, feeling that it will destroy the land and local environment. Bob’s high school-age son Johnny isn’t sure."

    “Representing the electric company is Irene, who is offering a great deal of money, but...[t]he entire family must sign a confidentiality agreement, requiring them to remain silent not only about the financial terms but of any effects of the wind turbines on their property or their lives…[T]he death of a friend of Deirdre’s in a car accident, and the return of her friend Allen from Afghanistan reveal that the family has a substantial drinking problem. This and the changes the wind turbines have made on their lives begin the downward spiral to tragedy.

    “Becker’s main characters — the family and Allen — come across as quite authentic, if a little condensed, so it is easy to care about them, and thus get involved in the drama. Irene, the electric company representative, and Bill, the town meeting moderator, though, are somewhat caricatured, giving the play a decided political slant…Although Becker has researched the effects of wind turbines, the play never acknowledges that wind energy has support outside those who benefit directly…making it more of a political statement than a piece of art that results in questions…”

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