TREESON: An Eco-Musical Written to Help Inspire People Toward Action

Victoria Campbell

www.treesonmusical.com

In the lush landscape of the Pacific Northwest, many respect nature while others seek to destroy it. Trees stand tall against the rushing waterfalls as chainsaws brattle in the distance. Terra, an environmental activist, mourns as she witnesses Don’s handiwork ravaging the woods. Ash, with the help of the Elements of Water, Wind and Fire, seeks purpose, to pave a path outside of his father’s logging empire. TREESON is a love story between humanity and Earth. Will everyone play their part before it’s too late?

This is a question that weighs heavily on my mind. And it’s this question that inspired me to write TREESON, an eco-musical.

TREESON is a passion project that was born out of the culmination of three things happening at once: being an unemployed expat in a foreign country, the Covid-19 pandemic forcing me into lockdown, and me missing home. Home is the Pacific Northwest, where TREESON is set. I have a musical background, but not enough of a musical background that I would ever have predicted I would be capable of creating a musical. I sang in choirs, church bands and karaoke bars, and I went to the theatre to see musicals as a consumer several times a year. That, my friends, is the extent of my musical theater experience. I don’t play any instruments, have never written a script, have never written a song, and I certainly didn’t know a thing about how to write a musical.

Writing TREESON was an unexpected, unpredicted miracle, and here’s how it happened. I moved from Seattle to Switzerland in the summer of 2019 and had every intention of finding a corporate job eventually. But first, I intended to learn a bit of German, travel the continent, make friends and settle in. I accomplished everything I intended to and was just about to pull the trigger on a job when our world was rocked by the pandemic. My job hunt stalled, I couldn’t go home, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I spent hours every day doom-scrolling the news (can you relate?), letting myself get down in the dumps. I also started going on long urban hikes in my neighborhood, exploring the many nature trails nearby that I never knew existed until I was forced to stay in my city. Every once in a while, while doom scrolling, I came across little nuggets of positive news, happy eco news, that shed light on the silver lining of the pandemic. The silver lining was that, because of the pandemic, Earth finally had a moment to breathe, a moment to heal from human activity. Pollution slightly declined, animals reclaimed their territories, and people like you and me were experiencing more nature.

Me hiking on one of the many beautiful trails in Switzerland. Image G. Victoria Campbell

Being in nature gave me time to think and reflect. After these walks, I started journaling (I’ve never been a journaler, mind you). Sometimes it was just a few words for the day; other times it was paragraphs of stream of thought. Suddenly, poetry emerged. I wrote poems about missing home. I wrote poems describing vivid memories of the Pacific Northwest landscape. I wrote poems about an imaginary someone accusing me of harming the environment. And I wrote poems from the perspective of someone seeking purpose in life. I noticed a unifying thread across the poems. They all related to me wanting to be a better version of myself via environmental stewardship. Poetry turned into lyrics, lyrics turned into tunes, and before I knew it, I had a musical about environmentalism on my hands.

Typical journaling and writing spot on the balcony of my flat in Zürich, Switzerland. Image G. Victoria Campbell

It was the most eye-opening experience of my life. I didn’t realize what I was capable of until I was forced to sit with my own thoughts and feelings, and… process them. I had never made time or space to do that before. Pre-pandemic, I was so caught up with being busy, filling my calendar with work, social engagements, and travel that I never made time to contemplate. It was eye-opening because it made me realize what we as humans are capable of if we just allow ourselves more time to think. I’m not saying writing TREESON was easy! It was absolutely hard work! (Remember? I’ve never done this before!) I’ve never worked so hard in my life, but it doesn’t feel like work because I’m constantly motivated and energized by the story I want to tell.

I truly believe that if more of us created deliberate time and space to ponder, reflect and contemplate, there would be so much more creativity, innovation and invention in the world. Imagine the possibilities! Who knows what you’re capable of?! As a society, we are all capable of so much more.

“More ” is the title of one of the songs in TREESON. Performed by Ash, the male protagonist, he sings to himself “what are you waiting for? You’re wasting time! You know you wanna do more than the daily grind! What are you waiting for? You work to live. You know you wanna do more, to be better than this.” Ash seeks redemption and purpose after the damage that’s been done to the environment by his father’s company. He wants to be a better version of himself. He wants to do more in life.

This is not just a question for Ash, but a question I pose to you. What are you waiting for?

Will you play your part before it’s too late?

To learn more about TREESON: An Eco-Musical, please visit www.treesonmusical.com . I’d love to hear what you think, and I’d love for you to help me spread the word about the show. With TREESON, I hope to not only entertain, but also educate and inspire people toward action.

Thank you for reading and hearing my story.

Vicki

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