When Antoine Defoort & Halory Goerger's GERMINAL was described to me, the first thing that came to mind was the book The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, which explores, "How our planet would respond without the relentless pressure of human presence." I imagined our four newly conscious humans perplexedly making their way through the detritus of our once brilliant civilization. I think I may need take a break from reading dystopian fiction...
In actuality, GERMINAL is nearly the reverse, as four human beings discover their own consciousness and begin to explore and shape a brand new universe inside the four walls of the theatre without any preconceived notions or expectations.
Together, the characters decide that their ultimate goal is to create a chronological series of events. And as they go about it, categorizing and digging up more of their world in the process, the show is by turns thoughtful, funny, and optimistic. The characters make the most of their small universe, celebrating the unique series of events they created there.
When I tried to picture this play, I imagined an exploration of human consciousness more like Sartre - if funny, then darkly so - and expected that I would leave the theatre with less faith in humanity than when I walked in. I was pleasantly surprised by the shows playful optimism and left the theatre with a bit more bounce in my step, and a more hopeful outlook as I resume writing the next event in my own small universe.