Innovative New Play Brings Sense of Humor and Spirit of Hope to Climate Crisis

Innovative New Play Brings Sense of Humor and Spirit of Hope to Climate Crisis

Categories: Uncategorized

The play, “When Wajcha Meet Pachamama,” tells the story of a friendly clown on a journey to save the sick planet. The play will debut at the New York Theater Festival on October 23, October 25, and October 28.


New York – Union Theological Seminary’s Professor of Worship Rev. Cláudio Carvalhaes recently wrote a play that provides a unique, hopeful take on the climate crisis. In the play, “When Wajcha Meet Pachamama,” a clown and a rat work together to heal a sick planet. 

“There’s plenty of doom and gloom about the climate crisis. Of course, we are in a very scary situation. But constant pessimism does nothing to fix the problem; it simply breeds anxiety and paralysis,” said Rev. Cláudio Carvalhaes. “By bringing this issue to the theater in a fun, relatable way, we can inspire people to feel hopeful and take action.”

During the play, the clown – Wajcha – discovers the earth (Pachamama) with a large bandaid on it. He tries to take it to the hospital, but to no avail. He then sets out on a quest to discover what’s wrong with the earth. He meets a rat who will be named Formaggio, or “cheese” in Italian, who leads him through the journey. Together, they discover that Pachamama is suffering because people have lost a sense of belonging with the earth. However, every time someone connects with Pachamama, the earth grows stronger. 

Ultimately, the audience learns – with plenty of laughs along the way – that by reigniting our relationship with the earth, we can move together towards healing and be able to respond to our climate crisis. 

The play was recently accepted to the New York Theater Festival and will run on October 23, 25, and 28. The play will also take place at Union Theological Seminary’s James Chapel on February 1, 2, and 3. UTS students will perform in both iterations. “Solving the climate crisis will require creativity, innovation, and passion. Rev. Carvalhaes’ new play exemplifies those attributes. We are so thrilled to support his work here at UTS,” said Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary. “Rev.  Carvalhaes’ new show adds yet another dimension to UTS’ commitment to addressing the climate crisis. As faith leaders, we believe we have a duty to speak boldly and bravely to protect our planet. We have to use every tool at our disposal to make a difference.”

About Union Theological Seminary

Union Theological Seminary (UTS), founded in 1836 in New York City, is a globally recognized seminary and graduate school of theology where faith and scholarship meet to reimagine the work of justice. A beacon for social justice and progressive change, Union Theological Seminary is led by a diverse group of theologians and activist leaders. Drawing on both Christian traditions and the insights of other faiths, the institution is focused on educating leaders who can address critical issues like racial equity, criminal justice reform, income inequality, and protecting the environment. Union is led by Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, the 16th President and the first woman to head the 187-year-old seminary.