Gray Cox and friends will perform at COA on April 1. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRAY COX

Musical promises trip to future

BAR HARBOR — Gray Cox and friends will present “Fire in the Commons” in the Gates Auditorium at the College of the Atlantic on Saturday, April 1, at 2 p.m.

Cox’s work-in-progress is a new musical in the tradition of an old-fashioned campfire show that includes sing-alongs, skits and a time-travel journey to the future.

The story takes place in a forest setting at The Camp in the Commons on an evening in which folks who do summer activities for kids and training workshops for activists are holding a fundraiser. Part of their campfire event is an imaging workshop into a future, 30 years from now. It is a future free of war and the threat of war where people live in societies with equity and justice for all, in communities where every person’s potential may be fulfilled and where we live on an earth restored.

Performers include Chris Gray, Chuck Whitney, Eddie Damm, Jeri Spurling, Russell Snyder, Eloise Schultz and Felipe Andres Fontecilla Gutierrez. In the fashion of camp shows, the audience also will be invited to participate in skits and the 10 sing-along songs through which much of the story is told. These include original songs that have proven popular in local performances Cox has offered over the years as part of the Celtic band MacLir and the Cox Brother’s Family Camp Show: “Smile and I’ll Be There,” “We All Come from Africa,” “350 to Save the Sky” and “Todos Somos Otros.”

Parts of the story also draw on Cox’s work as an activist doing workshops on “Imaging a World without Weapons,” a teacher at College of the Atlantic and Acadia Senior College and as a researcher whose books include “The Ways of Peace: A Philosophy of Peace as Action” (Paulist Press 1986).

“My research has sketched the central ideas and practices for an alternative culture drawing heavily on Gandhi, Quakerism and nonviolent methods of conflict resolution,” said Cox.

“The imaging workshops have been based on Elise Boulding’s methods for empowering groups to actually visualize the long-term future they want to make a reality for their children. This new musical is designed to make key ideas and images from all that work accessible in a family-friendly event with a lot of infectious sing-along songs.”

The event is free and open to the public, but there will be an opportunity to donate to the Common Good Café. For those who want to stay after, there will be a discussion and critique session with the author over pizza and soup. People are invited to bring their voices and be prepared not only to be entertained but to take part.

Contact Gray Cox at [email protected] or 460-1163. Visit


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.