SEI Supports Earth Hour Event Titled ‘She Only Cries at Night’

“If we can’t live with each other in kindness then how the hell do we think we can do that with the environment?”

This year Earth Hour is switching from a moment to a movement, bringing people together to focus attention on one of our most loved and most vulnerable natural icons – the Great Barrier Reef, which may no longer be viable as an ecosystem from 2020. In 2014, Earth Hour will ask people to turn their lights off as a sign that they care about climate change and its impacts on our Reef.

SEI has chosen to join WWF and Marrickville Council in supporting a unique Earth Hour event titled, ‘She Only Cries at Night’ which is the latest offering from award winning Sydney based theatre company The Living Room Theatre, featuring SEI co-founder Professor Iain McCalman. 

This piece takes place in an inner city laneway, followed by a sustainable candlelit supper  provided by Feather and Bone. It is written and directed by SEI’s Michelle St Anne, who is also the founder and artistic director of The Living Room Theatre. Michelle spoke to us about her work.


Can you sum up your Earth Hour event for us?

It’s a moving live art piece that traverses the back lane from where I live, we visit neighbours’ garages, laneways and end with a sustainable candlelit supper in my home. It merges different artistic disciplines, from sound art, to choreography and for the first time includes a historian and storyteller.

Can you tell us about the storyteller and why you chose him for your work?

It’s my boss! Professor Iain McCalman. So for the first time in my life I get to boss him around (laughs). The reason I incorporated Iain into my work, well it began when I was looking at the WWF initiative for this year, which is about saving the reef. It’s about turning the lights off for the Reef. Iain has just written a book called The Reef so I thought this is perfect! It’s the perfect fit. It’s not something I would have normally done so it’s really helping me to stretch my practice.

Can you tell us more about what your inspiration was for the piece?

Initially I wanted to do a piece on mothers and the pain of mothers. It’s inspired by a friend of mine and her personal story about the death of her child. And then when I read a bit more about the initiative and the Great Barrier Reef I thought wow, the loss of the Reef and a mother’s grief…they are a beautiful metaphor for each other. This is what I do, I love to merge storylines in my work.

What do you want people to take away from your piece?

I hope at the end of the work people feel a little more compassion for each other. I believe you can only care about your environment if you care about each other. If we can’t live with each other in kindness then how the hell do we think we can do that with the environment?

One last question, what are the future directions for this work?

I want to take it on the road! I would love it if people could nominate their laneway and their home and we can bring the work to them . I would also like to do it in the industrial part of Marrickville which is sparse and decrepit. I love dirty spaces, I love bringing beauty to dirty spaces.

Event Information 

For more information and to book tickets click here

You can check out the trailer here