World Without Us—an exhilarating monologue—is the latest visionary work from Belgian theatre collective Ontroerend Goed. In it, humans have suddenly, vanished—freeing the planet from traditional rules and orders, and prompting eons of biological change. Neither a political statement nor a parable meant to petrify us, World Without Us instead muses on a profound ode to human consciousness.
Hushed, graceful, almost wonder-filled.”
We can hardly imagine it. No mortgages. No knitted scarves. No butterfly strokes. No swimming pools. No new totems to our humanity, from the soft solace of stuffed animals to the declarative confidence of steel-and-glass skyscrapers. Humanity’s end would not be the world’s end. It would be a chrysalis from which Earth emerged in its own image, not ours. What would that entail? How would it sound…or not sound? How would our human-free planet play out its role in a larger galactic endgame? World Without Us—an elegiac, exhilarating monologue—is the latest visionary work from Belgian collective Ontroerend Goed (pronounced ahnt-ROE-ent HOET), whose comfort-challenging pieces have stunned Edinburgh Fringe Festival audiences for years. In World WIthout Us, humans have suddenly, inexplicably vanished—freeing the planet from traditional rules andorders and prompting eons of biological change. As relayed by performer Valentijn Dhaenens, smartphones will go supernova with one final beep, mankind’s monuments will crumble in disrepair, and beasts and vegetation will come to reign the landscape. Neither a political polemic nor a parable meant to petrify us, World Without Us instead muses on a profound ode to human consciousness. It exposes what we take for granted in daily miracles of perception and progress and celebrates the awe-inspiring marvel that the legacy of all our achievements may outlive the planet on which we pursued them.
Join the cast and artistic team immediately following the performance.
Purdue Department of English “BIG READ”
Emily St. John Mandel April 19 / 8PM / Fowler Hall FREE and open to the public
Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner award, and won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award. Station Eleven follows a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North America. It is a beautiful novel that asks us to question the value of art, fame, and the relationships that can sustain us through anything.