Theatre in the Age of Climate Change

How does our work reflect on, and respond to, the challenges brought on by a warming climate? How can we participate in the global conversation about what the future should look like, and do so in a way that is both inspiring and artistically rewarding?

The Possibility of Generative Futures Through Embodied Practice
Essay

The Possibility of Generative Futures Through Embodied Practice

20 September 2018

Annalisa Dias discusses her work with the newly formed Groundwater Arts Collective, and suggests ways that other theatremakers committed to climate justice can adopt the framework of a Just Transition.

Theatre's Part in the Quest to Save Public Land
Essay

Theatre's Part in the Quest to Save Public Land

19 September 2018

Ashley Teague discusses how Notch Theatre Company is using community-led theatre and storytelling to help fight to protect public land. 

The Birth of a Climate Commons for Theatre and Performance
Essay

The Birth of a Climate Commons for Theatre and Performance

18 September 2018

Lani Fu introduces the Climate Commons, an initiative that emerged from the Theatre in the Age of Climate Change convening in June 2018. 

This Sentence
Essay

This Sentence

How Do We Comprehend the Effects of Climate Change?

17 September 2018

Kendra Fanconi explains why it might take us eighty-eight minutes to digest one simple sentence about climate change.

Art on a Damaged Planet
Essay

Art on a Damaged Planet

the Theatre in the Age of Climate Change Convening

16 September 2018

Playwright MJ Halberstadt reports on Theatre of the Age of Climate Change convening, which took place 8-10 June 2018 in Boston, MA. 

Maybe Tomorrow, The Fish Will Be Gone
Essay

Maybe Tomorrow, The Fish Will Be Gone

22 March 2018

Alison Weller reflects on the process of writing Boundless, a play about a fishing community on Cape Cod that faces climate change every day.

Graz, Austria
Essay

Graz, Austria

City of Culture…City of Climate Change Communication

21 March 2018

American Studies scholar and educator Nassim Winnie Balestrini reports on how Climate Change Theatre Action relates to her seminar on cultural studies at the University of Graz in Austria.

Queer Climate Performance Art in the Most Unlikely Places
Essay

Queer Climate Performance Art in the Most Unlikely Places

20 March 2018

Peterson Toscano describes his solo show Everything is Connected, which tackles religion, LGBTQ issues, privilege, and climate change.

Does Laughter Have a Place Here?
Essay

Does Laughter Have a Place Here?

19 March 2018

Aysan Celik talks about the ways she’s found laughter to be a catalyst for honest conversations with her students about Climate Change.

Why Do Women Climate More Than Men?
Essay

Why Do Women Climate More Than Men?

18 March 2018

Chantal Bilodeau kicks off this week’s series on Theatre in the Age of Climate Change by suggesting that women in the arts may be our planet’s best bet for survival.

The Breathing Hole and Inuit Cultural Dramaturgy
Essay

The Breathing Hole and Inuit Cultural Dramaturgy

22 September 2017

Canadian playwright Colleen Murphy writes about the importance of including Indigenous characters in plays and Indigenous artists in the process of making them.

Life Imitates Art Imitates Life
Essay

Life Imitates Art Imitates Life

21 September 2017

While researching and developing his musical The Rising Sea, playwright Eric Schorr reflects on the parallels between the historical narrative of slavery and the modern narrative of climate change.

Kill Climate Deniers
Essay

Kill Climate Deniers

What Happens When You Threaten Murder in the Title of Your Play?

20 September 2017

In the third installment of this series, Australian playwright David Finnigan discusses how he navigated the attacks of climate deniers on his provocatively titled play. 

IN KINSHIP
Essay

IN KINSHIP

A River and Recovery in Many Acts

19 September 2017

Maine artist Jennie Hahn explores environmental stewardship in Maine’s Penobscot River Watershed with the performance project IN KINSHIP and shares her three guiding principles for making art in a time of climate change.

The Living Stage
Essay

The Living Stage

Building Possibility in the Age of Climate Change

18 September 2017

In the second installment of this series, Lanxing Fu discusses The Living Stage NYC, an intergenerational collaboration between Superhero Clubhouse and the community of Meltzer Towers.

F*ck the System (And the Horse It Rode In On)
Essay

F*ck the System (And the Horse It Rode In On)

17 September 2017

Chantal Bilodeau kicks off this week's series on Theatre in the Age of Climate Change, and argues that we as a theatre community need to recognize when our practices and systems are detrimental to the earth and other people, and strive to change them.

Fueled by Fury
Essay

Fueled by Fury

Finding the Language to Fix Us

22 April 2017

Playwright Tira Palmquist and dramaturg Heather Helinsky discuss Two Degrees, a play about climate change and communication.

Climate Lens
Essay

Climate Lens

Birth of a Post-Nation!

21 April 2017

Una Chaudhuri announces a new project called CLIMATE LENS.

Participatory Performance, Activism, and the Limits of Change
Essay

Participatory Performance, Activism, and the Limits of Change

20 April 2017

Professor of Theatre Kenn Watt discusses environmental participatory performance.

Theatremakers vs The Climate Fools in the White House
Essay

Theatremakers vs The Climate Fools in the White House

19 April 2017

Chantal Bilodeau writes about an initiative called Climate Change Theatre Action.

Fish Soup, Mourning, and Hope at the End of the World
Essay

Fish Soup, Mourning, and Hope at the End of the World

18 April 2017

Dramaturg Walter Bilderback writes about the production of and audience engagement around Andrew Bovell's When the Rain Stops Falling at the Wilma Theater.

Requiem for a River
Essay

Requiem for a River

Operatic Reflections on the Euphrates

17 April 2017

In this second installment, opera director Miranda Lakerveld discusses opera Requiem for a River, which is about the Euphrates River and fuses sacred texts and traditional music from various countries in the Middle East.

We Are the Climate
Essay

We Are the Climate

16 April 2017

In this first installment, Playwright Katie Pearl explores the implications of climate change, storytelling, and intersectionality in the theatre community in relation to Donald Trump’s administration.

The Teachings of Treefall
Essay

The Teachings of Treefall

24 September 2016

Scenic Designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz shares her process for designing Henry Murray’s Treefall, which inspired her to work on HeatWave, a project connecting environmentalists and theatre artists.

Recipe for Change
Essay

Recipe for Change

23 September 2016

Director Julia Levine discusses how she approaches her process, and examines the relationship between food and theatre. 

Theatre in the Age of Climate Change
Essay

Theatre in the Age of Climate Change

An Educator’s View

22 September 2016

As part of the Theatre in the Age of Climate Change, playwright and educator Elspeth Tilley discusses the benefits of bringing collaborative creative activism into the classroom.

How Theatre Renewed My Perspective on Climate Change
Essay

How Theatre Renewed My Perspective on Climate Change

21 September 2016

Undergraduate actor Sterling Oliver writes about how performing Forward led him to rediscover a passion for working to prevent climate change.

A Hope I Can Live With
Essay

A Hope I Can Live With

20 September 2016

Director Emily Mendelsohn shares her experience at the 2016 Theatre Without Borders Conference, and muses on an “ecological way of seeing” for her work.

Native Communities and Climate Change, Center Stage
Essay

Native Communities and Climate Change, Center Stage

19 September 2016

Playwright Jaisey Bates urges us to include Native communities and artists in the work to combat climate change and in the work we put on stage.

The Journey to an Eco-Play
Essay

The Journey to an Eco-Play

18 September 2016

Playwright Paula Cizmar discusses the process of making her eco-play The Chisera (AKA Lost Borders)

A Snowball's Chance
Essay

A Snowball's Chance

23 April 2016

Sara Katzoff writes about Kickwheel Ensemble Theater’s creation of Passage, a physical theatre comedy. 

Why I’m Breaking Up with Aristotle
Essay

Why I’m Breaking Up with Aristotle

22 April 2016

Chantal Bilodeau on writing ourselves out of the pyramid and why she is breaking up with Aristotle.

Chasing Kitimat
Essay

Chasing Kitimat

Going Backwards to Move Forward

21 April 2016

Playwright Elaine Ávila shares her process and inspiration for writing her play Kitimat, which is based on a true story about the Kitimat community. 

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.

Dweepa (The Island)
Essay

Dweepa (The Island)

A play with beginnings in the questions of Climate Change

19 April 2016

Playwright Abhishek Majumdar describes the creation of his play Dweepa, inspired by eco-philosophy.

Who Comes for Fish? in Here Oceans Roar
Essay

Who Comes for Fish? in Here Oceans Roar

An Amanuensis for the Ocean

18 April 2016

Nelson Gray discusses the inspiration for his opera Here Oceans Roar and advocates more art centered on climate change.

The Fifth Wall
Essay

The Fifth Wall

Climate Change Dramaturgy

17 April 2016

Eco-theatre scholar and pioneer Una Chaudhuri considers how theatre is inventing new strategies for performance offered or necessitated by climate change.

I Can't Go On, I'll Go On
Essay

I Can't Go On, I'll Go On

26 September 2015

Kendra Fanconi addresses climate change in her work not as an abstract concept, but as a real and immediate concern that is deeply rooted in a sense of place: the forests of British Columbia.

Theatre Artists Unite Around Climate Change Action
Essay

Theatre Artists Unite Around Climate Change Action

Moving to Movement

25 September 2015

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Alison Carey writes about the upcoming Green Room, an online space for theatre artists to come together around climate change action.

An Opera for Climate Change
Essay

An Opera for Climate Change

25 September 2015

Librettist Ian Burton discusses his process and inspiration for creating the text for Giorgio Battistelli’s opera CO2.

The Sustainable Theatre Practice Treaty
Essay

The Sustainable Theatre Practice Treaty

24 September 2015

Ian Garrett, Director of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, asks will we be party to the Sustainable Theatre Practice Treaty?

Archipelagos, Fragile Shores, and Orphan Seas
Essay

Archipelagos, Fragile Shores, and Orphan Seas

A reflection on climate change and performance

23 September 2015

Caridad Svich on writing about the inescapable reality of climate change.

Mourning Becomes Arctic Requiem
Essay

Mourning Becomes Arctic Requiem

The Story of Luke Cole and Kivalina

22 September 2015

Playwright Sharmon Hilfinger discusses how she developed Artic Requiem: The Story of Kivalina with composer Joan McMillen.

A Courtship with Impermanence
Essay

A Courtship with Impermanence

21 September 2015

New Orleans-based artist Nick Slie writes about creating Cry You One, an interdisciplinary, site-responsive project addressing the ongoing effects of climate change on the Gulf Coast.

Nurturing Local Seeds Into Global Vibrancy
Essay

Nurturing Local Seeds Into Global Vibrancy

Climate Change Theatre Action

20 September 2015

Chantal Bilodeau kicks off our second Theatre in the Age of Climate Change series by writing about her work on the international Climate Change Theatre Action initiative.

Supporting the Intersection of Art and Activism
Essay

Supporting the Intersection of Art and Activism

26 April 2015

Jennifer Sokolove talks about funding work around climate change, and how organizations can reimagine granting to support work at the intersection of art activism.

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind—Hearing the Voices of the Future
Essay

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind—Hearing the Voices of the Future

25 April 2015

Norwegian composer Marte Røyeng has created a musical exploring sustainability with children, hoping to help them think about big issues.

Walking The Awkwardly Heroic Yet Often Depressing Path of Near Impossible Catastrophe Evasion Through Kick-Ass Poetics
Essay

Walking The Awkwardly Heroic Yet Often Depressing Path of Near Impossible Catastrophe Evasion Through Kick-Ass Poetics

24 April 2015

Elizabeth Doud addresses the emergency of climate change and the need for a poetics to shift consciousness.

Where Is The Hope?
Essay

Where Is The Hope?

23 April 2015

Jeremy Pickard of Superhero Clubhouse searches for hope and asks impossible questions as he creates nine Planet Plays, which examine the world in the context of climate change.

The Nature of Positive
Essay

The Nature of Positive

22 April 2015

Australian scenic designer Tanja Beer explores designing with the intentions of enriching audiences as well as our environment and communities.

36.5 / a durational performance with the sea
Essay

36.5 / a durational performance with the sea

21 April 2015

Sarah Cameron Sunde explores the issue of water rising on our planet, explores the drastic changes through art, and implores people to consider the water.

Looking for the Ending (Or is it the Beginning?)
Essay

Looking for the Ending (Or is it the Beginning?)

20 April 2015

Alanna Mitchell talks about transforming her book Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis into a one-woman show, and the conversation she found in theatre.

Twitter Chat
Essay

Twitter Chat

How Can Artists Shift the Climate Change Story?—Thurs, April 23—Participate with hashtag #howlround

20 April 2015

This hour-long conversation will take place on Thursday, April 23 on hashtag #howlround at 11am PDT (Vancouver) / 1pm CDT (Austin) / 2pm EDT (Toronto) / 18:00 GMT / 7pm BST (London).

In Search of a New Aesthetic
Essay

In Search of a New Aesthetic

19 April 2015

Chantal Bilodeau kicks off the series Theatre in the Age of Climate Change with an account of her trip to the Canadian Arctic and how that changed how she wanted to write plays.

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Series are collections of content curated around a specific theme. HowlRound works with curators to develop topical pieces meant to spotlight current events and happenings within the commons.