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Weather girls

EstroFest forecasts the unpredictable nature of emotions

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Mother Nature must be trying to make amends to Martha Donovan.

After January snow showers interrupted the rehearsal schedule for The Weather Equals the World, Donovan's new EstroFest opus, February's sporadic and drastic temperature shifts have perfectly presupposed the show's theme of climactic unpredictability. The multimedia performance piece incorporates theater, dance, spoken word, music and video animation in sorting out the parallels between weather and human perception.

Donovan, artistic associate director of EstroFest (the group behind SEEN + HEARD: The Atlanta Women's Arts Festival), says she was inspired to do the project on a chilly January night more than a year ago, while sipping hot cocoa and wishing for snow.

"I was musing on the question of what mood is," she says. "I had always struggled with the fact that I personally had never been able to control my own mood and that it would fluctuate in ways that would catch me off guard. And then I started to compare it to weather."

The Weather Equals the World features six artists from diverse backgrounds, each reading personal monologues. The monologues are woven together by dance sequences, music by Sonia Tetlow and Carol Bales' video animation.

The show is accompanied by a photography exhibit of the same name curated by Sistagraphy, an African-American women's photography collective. An opening act by deidra lynn currie explores a different kind of weather -- today's political climate.

As for Atlanta's climate, Donovan says the show's theme of unpredictability was more than mirrored in the months leading up to the premiere, and not just by January's snow. One of her principal performers ended up moving to another city.

"Unpredictability is a huge piece of it," Donovan said. "Of course, people are unpredictable too."

The Weather Equals the World runs Feb. 22-March 3 at Art Farm, 835 Wylie Ave. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m. Tickets $12-$15 at Charis Books. Reservations recommended. 404-797-0489. www.estrofest.org.

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