PlayRead at the St. Helena Library

Luke Myers

Our local theater, Upstage Napa Valley, is fortunate to feature actor Luke Myers, who grew up in St. Helena and contributed to theater productions in our local schools and community. He then studied at acting conservatories in the United States and London, before returning as a professional Bay Area actor.  

Luke is also an accomplished playwright and will read one of his short plays for UpStage Napa Valley’s PlayRead on Thursday, April 7th from 5:30 to 7pm, at the St. Helena Library. This play, “Planet Earth is Blue (and there’s nothing we can do)” responds to the climate change crisis. After the PlayRead, there will be an open discussion between Luke and the audience to bring an even deeper connection to the experience. 

“I was intrigued by the prompt for UpStage Napa Valley’s Playwright Festival, which was “Conversations after….”, said Luke. “It gave me an opportunity to expand upon an idea I had for a solo show, where I’d sent myself back in time from a future state to present day, believing that this exact place and time is the absolute critical moment that could prevent the worst effects of climate change. Planet Earth is Blue… takes place after a future climate apocalypse, when a scientist, artist, and bodyguard travel together from Mars with the destination of 16th century London, landing instead in present day Napa Valley. Believing that it’s too late to stop the worst from happening, they are forced to face the climate crisis as it is today, since the past cannot be altered.”

Many of you may remember Luke from the St. Helena High drama department productions years ago, under teachers Mary Fullerton and Patti Coyle. He graduated in 2011 and went on to study at PCPA Pacific Conservatory Theatre. From 2014 to 2018, he studied at the University of Minnesota / Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, including a semester at the Globe in London. 

“My first theatrical experience was playing Christopher Robin in elementary school,” relates Luke. “I’ve always been shy, and this was a pivotal movement that allowed me to access parts of myself that I hadn’t before. Mentors and theater camps reinforced to me that acting could be a profession and thankfully my parents were very supportive of my decision to continue this passion.” 

 “I’ve always wanted to tell stories” says Luke, “and lately, I’ve felt a strong pull to tell more climate narratives and reckon with my own struggles to find art’s place in climate justice… I’m most excited about my work with Climate Change Theatre Action, a global initiative with a community focus that combines short plays with opportunities for climate action. In December, I teamed up with local creatives and climate speakers to host A Pathway to Change, a ‘walking theatre experience’ along the St. Helena Library path, where audiences strolled and stopped to listen to climate plays, poems, music, and presentations by an empowering array of locals who’ve been involved in positive climate action. I’m very grateful that Aisha Rivera, a key collaborator on the project, will be reading this play with me, alongside artistic colleague Ginna Beharry.”

Following Luke’s PlayRead, there will be a sneak peek at UpStage’s spring production, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl. Stay tuned for May dates for this dark comedy.  

Complete with a wine & cheese reception, the UpStage Napa Valley PlayRead event does not require an RSVP and there is no charge. Donations to UpStage are graciously accepted. The St. Helena Library is located at 1492 Library Lane. UpStage is very appreciative of the Library’s continued support.