Hot Air

A play about global warming written and performed by members of The Living Theatre in honor of Judith Malina. NYC, May 2015

Adam Buxbaum
Jay Dobkin
Toti Gallo
Robert Hieger
Hilda Mateiro
Ely Rosa Zamora
Joanie Fritz Zosike

SCENE I. Corporate Madness.

A serie of opening texts created by the actors about the craziness of corporate greed.

Jay: ...we don't just want to make money for us, we want you help us help you to make money for us.

Toti: At Petroliarch Fossil Fuels, we've been selling our brand of gasoline for over a hundred years, and for over a hundred years we've reminded drivers looking for a gas station: You can trust in the mark of the petroliarch! To us those words aren't just a slogan, they're a commitment, a solemn promise we make to you to give you the most we can. Other companies may brag about their octane, but what they don't tell you is that octane is just one of the many fractionated distillates that make up gasoline. Only Petroliarch can say that we have more pentane, hexane, and heptane in our product than you can get at any other gas station. And that's not a slogan, it's a guarantee. As for our prices, you can rest easy knowing that we eliminate the middle man by getting our gas from our own wholly-owned subsidiaries. All the gasoline we pump in our stations is made by Patriarch Distilling and Cracking from oil extracted by Patriarch Drilling & Fracking. God is love, god is oil, god es Petroliarch!  

Ely: You all know Aquasec bottled water, the world's bestselling brand of bottled unflavored dehydrated water concentrate, but it's possible that you've never heard of the parent company. We're the Anhydrous Resource Systems Extractive Natural Industries Company, known as ARS…NICO for short, and we could be the new investment opportunity you've been looking for. Here at ARS…NICO we're lot more than just Aquasec. We're a global company dedicated to a vision of achieving a better world in which we can finally make water truly useful. We're turning water from the mere commonplace resource it has always been, underappreciated and seen as good for nothing but a few immediate uses like quenching thirst and irrigating crops, into a major financial commodity that can be fully monetarized and exploited for the benefit of our investors.
When you add ARS…NICO to your financial portfolio, you'll know that our staff of financial analysts and corporate lawyers are constantly working to engineer new ways to turn water from a boring everyday liquid into a powerful financial asset. For example, here in the US, even while the government of Califonia is imposing strict rationing on water use by ordinary households in that state, we're taking advantage of a loophole giving all corporations a blanket exemption from any limits on water use. Thanks to that exemption, even though California is experiencing its worst drought in 1,000 years, we can simply pour California's tap water into our bottles and ship it out of state to sell for our benefit.
Internationally, ARS…NICO's cooperative relationships with governments in Asia, Africa, and Latin America utilize a system of pecuniary encouragements to members of the leadership to allow us to buy already existing water systems on highly favorable terms, then turn around and raise rates drastically to ensure extraordinary profits.
But despite all the profits we're making, we're still not satisfied. We always have our eye on the future, seeking new opportunities for our shareholders, so even though the fighting among middle-eastern countries today may be over oil, we know that soon the struggle will be over water, and we're already making plans to profit from tomorrow's mid-east wars every bit as much as the oil companies are profitting from today's. So when you think of water, think of money, and when you think of water and money, think of ARS…NICO. Our reach is truly global: in the Americas alone, we have subsidiaries operating in:
[at this point start speaking the names of the countries listed in that song that names all the countries of the Americas.]

Hilda: Hi, there. Has Mother Nature let you down again? Did your garden not grow? Are your vegetables lacking vigor? Let me help you. I can grow your veggies bigger and faster. My crops can withstand draught, insects—they don’t even need sunlight to grow. My seeds far superior to anything Mother Nature has to offer. My soil is so rich in nutrients that there’s no need for fertilizer. Grow the garden of your dreams. I will do it for you better than you ever thought possible. Just put your money in my hands and I will bring you crops—crops so healthy and strong that you won’t even need to take vitamins any more. Every bite you take supplies your minimum daily requirement as recommended by the USDA. Sure, our prices may appear higher at first, but our products save you more money in the longer run. Fewer doctor visits. No costly food supplements. No more straining and sweating tending a garden. No more failed crops. Let me grow your food for you. Stop listening to all the deniers out there. Genetically Modified Organisms sound so unfriendly. But we’re here to make your life easier. We can grow your food for you better than you ever dreamed possible.

Adam: Do you shed a tear when you have to sweep gristle and fat off your plate when you eat a steak? Do you wish every bite could be as perfect as the first? Does the thought of eating sausages made from trimmings and castaway meat make you nauseous? Well we have a product for you! Thanks to our cutting edge growth technology, Custom Order Burgers is able to provide you with a meat product made just for you! Our cows are grown in just one week, and we take the choicest parts of each cow, giving you ONE burger per cow, with each succulent bite CHOSEN JUST FOR YOU. (cue for next person) All you have to do is log on to our web site at and place your order. One week later, your cow will be ready to be processed into your delicious meal! I had a custom burger this morning, a fine philly named Billi, raised in a relaxing dark environment with a full four feet on each side of her to stretch out. She would be proud to know how delicious she tasted. This product is for a special crowd, an elite consumer, one who will not settle for less than the best of the best! (Can continue to improv till cue to stop)

Bobby:...Sustainable energy is our mission!

After Bobby’s line, we all turn to him with a sinister expression, but then immediately face the audience again, and start a frantic chant at different pitches, moving throughout the space with big, expressionist or biomechanical movements.

Emsemble: Shop, and buy, and use and throw away...

While the chant increases in energy and gets really frantic with the movements, we have surrounded Bobby, until sicken by it, he throws up, facing the audience. From the vomit comes out a banner with a quote by Antonin Artaud that reads: "In order to utter this cry, I empty myself." Joanie and Ely take the banner and unroll it, holding it by the ends. We all say the quote that is written on the banner.

Emsemble: "In order to utter this cry, I empty myself."

Ely and Joanie put the banner on the floor.



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