“Adams Run” is a video opera composed by Ruby Fulton and produced by Rhymes with Opera. Baynard Woods, a former
Charleston City Paper columnist, wrote the libretto, which is set in the Colleton County town of Adams Run. The story, set in the near future where the climate crisis is the only topic, centers around Billy Noble, an environmentally minded televangelist with a reality show about building an ecological ark for his flock, and Julie Shore, an existentialist weather woman who mocks our inability to act in the face of planetary change with gallows humor. They have the two most popular shows on TV and when Shore goes to Adams Run to cover Noble’s ark, they fall in love. The following scenes open the film (which is available on Amazon Prime) by cross-cutting scenes from both of the shows.


It’s July 29th, 2020 and I’m Julie Shore, the Existentialist Weather Woman

It is snowing in Los Angeles

At twentynine degrees

Connecticut is burning,

one hundred-eighteen.


And it is the wrath of the Lord

that brings these end times upon

us. We have not shepherded his

Earth and his Oceans and his seas


Today marks the eighth straight

year of severe drought in the Mid

and South West


And the Dust is blowing


So long it’s been good to know you/

so long it’s been good to know you/

so long it’s been good to know you/

this dusty old dust is driving me

home/ and I’ve got to be drifting



And it is the wrath of a righteous

God Just as it was in the days of



In the City of Baltimore today, the

mayor and City Council finally agreed

on the forceful and permanent

evacuation of the historic Fells

Point neighborhood


And that is why we are here today And

henceforth on the Rev. Billy Noble

Gospel Hour


Baltimore is now the fifth city to

take such drastic action against

rising tides


at the Ark, our environmental retreat

and laboratory

In the town of Adams Run, SC

The story the people down the road

On Edisto island used to say

Is that Edisto was Eden and Adams Run

was where Adam stopped

the first night after the expulsion from the Garden


Eight other cities, including New

York City, are contemplating similar


It is an especially fraught issue

in New York, where 232 people died

last week when a subway line flooded:

Still no word whether they

drowned or were electrocuted.


And so we, sinners expelled from our cities-

You heard about the flooded subway

in New York last week, no doubt,

We have come back to this spot, the

first dark night after the

realization of our sin to rebegin

again; to build an ark for the righteous

to claim our birthright

not only as the children of Adam

But also of Noah, for the Lord hath

so ordered to live in harmony with

the Earth and on this ark create a

new covenant with the Lord and the


Meanwhile, in South Carolina where

two super tornados coming from

different directions collided into

the state capital in what one

spectator described as two

Godzillas having rough sex

Citizens, led by the famous Rev.

Billy Noble are claiming the end

times and declaring the weather

acts of God


And surely some of you, even those

amongst us here as soon as you turn

off our show flip through the DVR

to the Existentialist Weather Woman

The top show on the TV. And I

understand, I too have watched the

fetching young woman as she makes

light of the only topic that now

matters Infecting our country with

European nihilism and gallows’



Even if God is not dead it is now

clear that He used the world as

little more than his internet:

Disaster and porn.

Baynard Woods is a Baltimore-based reporter and writer, who is from S.C. and was recently featured in Oxford American’s South Carolina music issue. I Got a Monster, his book on police corruption will be released by St. Martin’s Press in 2020.

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