Theresa May

Theresa May is a director/devisor and ecodramaturg, Artistic director of Earth Matters on Stage (EMOS) Festival, and faculty at the University of Oregon.

Theresa May is a director/devisor and ecodramaturg (See Howlround article by Dillon Slaggle, and "Radical Empathy" in Howlround's Climate Change series) concerned with how the stories we tell shape the environment we share. She is author of Earth Matters on Stage: Ecology, Environment and American Theater (Routledge 2020), which examines how the ecological violence of settler colonialism is and has been represented on stage. She is faculty at the University of Oregon where she teaches courses in Native theatre, Latinx theatre, Eco-theatre/Theatre of Climate Change, and Site-Specific Theatre/Embodiment. She is Artistic Director of the EMOS Ecodrama Playwrights Festival. (See earthmattersonstage.org) Currently she collaborates with Native tribal communities around traditional ecological knowledge and climate change in the Pacific Northwest. er community-based play, Salmon Is Everything, developed in collaboration with tribal communities on the Klamath River in response to the 2001 drought and salmon crisis, was published in 2014 (2019) by OSU Press. (See Howlround article by Waylon Lenk) Her ecodramaturgy began in the 1990s when she founded Theatre in the Wild (TITW) of in Seattle, devising site-specific works and plays around environmental themes with K-12 . In 1991 TITW organized Theatre in an Ecological Age conference about how theatre artists are responding to the environmental crisis, and co-authored (with Larry Fried) one of first books on sustainable theatre practice (Greening Up Our Houses, Drama Books, 1994). In 2004, she and Larry Fried co-founded Earth Matters on Stage (EMOS), an ecodrama playwright’s festival that calls for new plays on environmental themes. EMOS 2017-18 was held at U of Alaska, Anchorage. She is co-editor of Readings in Performance and Ecology (with Wendy Arons), and writes about the intersection of theatre and ecology.

a group of actors onstage
Apollo Meets the Climate Youth Movement on Indigenous Ground
Essay

Apollo Meets the Climate Youth Movement on Indigenous Ground

2 October 2019

Playwright and professor Theresa May talks about creating a show about the planet, Sky Woman, and the Youth Climate Movement, and how collaborating with students enhanced the development process.

Radical Empathy, Embodied Pedagogy, and Climate Change Theatre
Essay

Radical Empathy, Embodied Pedagogy, and Climate Change Theatre

20 April 2016

Director and educator Theresa May writes about the potential of theatre about climate change to affect hearts and minds.