Alanna Mitchell

Award-winning Canadian science journalist.

Alanna’s acclaimed play, Sea Sick, is coming to stages across Canada.

So, I’m a science journalist and the most exciting thing I had done until this year was research a book on how we’re altering the chemistry of the global ocean. Sounds a bit dull, right? But it was a tale of grand adventure and marvelous discovery with a good dollop of humour, peopled with some of the most fascinating scientists in the world.

So I started giving talks about it and that – to my surprise and ultimately horror – ended up in my being commissioned to create a play, with the help of Franco Boni and Ravi Jain of The Theatre Centre in Toronto, and perform it. Live. In person. In front of people. In a theatre. The results were interesting. This thing was nominated for a Dora. And now, we’re back on stage in Toronto and taking it on the road.

It’s a non-fiction play performed by a non-actor. And it’s all about what I found out about the ocean over 13 journeys in three years. Go figure.

Next up, The Theatre Centre at 1115 Queen West in Toronto from October 29 to November 2, 2014. Click here to book tickets.
Here’s how critics described my play: “Shockingly honest”. “Passionate”. “Unconventional theatre”. “A thrilling, yet highly disturbing cautionary tale”. “Riveting and mentally stimulating”. “Unsettling information aimed at provoking change”. “Life-changing”.


Interviews about Sea Sick, the book

ABC-100pxInterview with Alanna on ABC (Australian Broadcast Corp.) show The National Interest. Transcript is downloadable.

radio-NZ-100pxInterview with Alanna on Radio New Zealand National.

CBC-100pxInterview with Alanna on CBC’s Quirks and Quarks.

greenInterview-logo100pxThe Ocean in Peril. To purchase the full, hour long video ($3.99) click here.

TRES 2013 130For the last several months, I’ve been working on a huge series for Environmental Health News, an online publication, about effects of man-made chemicals and climate change on birds. It’s been a riot – the perfect combination of new findings, sleuthing scientists, puzzles and, of course, gorgeous creatures. Some of the pieces, including this opening essay and this one on how mercury affects birds’ songs, have also run on National Geographic’s site. So a huge honour.

Today, it’s my final piece in the series, on whether the newest class of insecticides, neonicotinoids, is affecting the populations of birds that need bugs for food. Fun times, travelling to Saskatchewan to take a look at some hungry baby tree swallows.

sea sick“It is often said that our oceans are less understood than the surface of the moon. Alanna Mitchell’s informative and deeply moving book gives a wonderful portrait of a global marine ecosystem that desperately needs both greater popular understanding and international protection against looming catastrophe.” —-Mark Lynas, Environmentalist and author of ‘Six Degrees’.”

 

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