by Ali Skye Bennet
In a near-forgotten corner of the Suzhou Zoo in China, the last male and female Yangtze giant softshell turtles unknowingly find themselves in the spotlight when suddenly thrust into confinement by a team of scientists, who are prepared to rewrite the laws of science to get the Turtles to breed and the species to perpetuate. But when the lovestruck Turtles finally grasp the full implications of their circumstances, the line between responsibility and self-preservation starts to blur... In the animal kingdom, held in captivity in a race against the biological clock, at what point does nature’s instinct finally overpower free will? In RAFETUS, “freedom of choice” takes on a whole new meaning -- or perhaps is rendered meaningless.
To learn more, read an excerpt from the play, or read my Artistic Statement,
visit the National New Play Network's New Play Exchange:
Click here to read more about the actual Rafetus swinhoei breeding program, run by the Turtle Survival Alliance.