Waking Gaia by Brian Richardson
The story takes place at Henriette University and involves the intertwining of four academics working at this Midwestern institution. Kamela Radha, of SE Asian background, a brilliant, unorthodox computer scientist of the Watsonian Institute of Technology is engaged in a co-operative project with Henriette's Department of Computer Technology. The department head, Rupert Cantation, has a superior attitude toward Kamela, in spite of the fact the bulk of the work is her creation.
Inga Stennax, Eco-biologist, is using the Gaia Theory as a basis for attempting to rouse public concern to react over how close we are to extinction. She recruits Archaeologist and poet, Alan Meredici to help her. Rupert has attempted to come on to Inga, which she has rebuffed, but he sees her respond to Alan and resents that.
Alan and Inga grow closer as Kamela and Rupert clash over an accidental side discovery of their project. She completes the project and immediately leaves after refusing to develop the offshoot.
Alan rescues Kamela, whom he does not know, from an assault outside Inga's quarters. When she awakens she has lost her memory. Not sure of how to safely help, Inga keeps Kamela at her apartment while she and Alan continue to work on creating a persona for Gaia. This interests Kamela and as she learns more about Gaia is attracted to the ancient goddess. With Alan's poetry she gives Gaia's person life. Meanwhile, Rupert is searching for Kamela ostensibly to launch their project. His behaviour brings him into conflict with both Alan and Inga.
At the same time we learn from Inga's interest an Astronomy site of an object approaching from deep space, to which Alan has suggested to its discoverer, a former lover, a name to use, Kali, an Hindu goddess.
When all these elements collide the play ends.
Keywords: Climate crisis
Run time: 100 minutes
Suitable for students 14+
Cast size: 4 actors
Male roles: 2
Female role: 2
Other roles: 3
Casting note: The other roles are purely voice roles and 2 are non gender specific: Albin (the AI voice); and the Commentator. The third is female: Lillian