Hi. My name is Caitlin Nasema Cassidy. I’m an actor, director, and producer. 

I live in New York City, and I make work within and about our climate and ecological emergencies. As a storyteller, I am working to connect climate science to history to the lifecycle of a firefly, for example. Within my theater company LubDub, we often say: When it’s all very big, it helps to go small. 

This is an offering in honor of World Theatre Day 2024. 


Lorca was a first love. 
I read his lectures and his plays 
mourned his brutal death
Learned from his desire to suggest
Not delineate
To animate
In Madrid 1928, he wrote: 
“Wherever there is a dark corner, I wish to direct toward it light.”

This winter, I learned that fireflies, or lightning bugs, are neither flies nor bugs
They are beetles
And they live a good portion of their life underground
Before they can direct their light, they spend a lot of time in dark corners
There are a lot of those these days

I’m afraid to name everything the last year has taken
Holding my breath, haunted by ghosts of displacement
I’m reading the IPCC report like, “How many more statements?”
Crying on the B train ‘cause this morning my dad texted: Ivory Billed Woodpecker Extinct
Wondering what the Wall Street Journal thinks
Do they know most wasps are peaceful creatures, who do not sting?

In a small rehearsal room here in the city
We dance across worn wooden floorboards
Let deep breath in
Marvel that our diaphragms can move like this
We practice patience and consent
We brace for what’s next
With gentleness
We keep the magic in our fingertips

In an auditorium in Dearborn, 
We’re studying how our ancestors shook their hips
Building process around relationship
We’re singing to the mountains
Conducting research on the sea
From an office in Marseille, Uncle Ramzi says:
“That’s your job as artists. You imagine what could be.”

In a theater in Stockholm
We are synchronizing our heartbeats with strangers
We are practicing the broad, sustained awareness our screens have endangered
We are turning over the soil
And this not a rehearsal
It is life

Along a river in DC
We’re choreographing burlesque with biologists
Telling tales to honor the return of the shad fish
Leaning into silliness

On Zoom
We’re telling stories that recall our vital connections to earth
Celebrating grandmothers, goddesses, and birth

In a garden in Tangiers
In a skatepark in Brooklyn
In a dance studio in Tunis
In a gymnasium in San Juan
In a black box in Jenin
In a classroom in Franklin
In a community center in Istanbul
At a top golf in Virginia
In a rehearsal room in New York City  

We are writing new worlds
With our bodies and our words
Building cultures of care
On a budget
Crafting cardboard castles 
Making the best of plastic chairs
We are (re)storying the future 

Like lightning bugs and Lorca
The theater and its artists
Are directing our light toward the darkest corners.