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Climate Emergency

Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity and theatremakers need to be part of addressing it. Here, you’ll find content about artistic work that engages with the climate crisis, as well as learnings about how to make theatre practices more eco-friendly. Chantal Bilodeau’s long-running Theatre in the Age of Climate Change series is a must-read, and don’t miss Groundwater Arts’s video series on the Green New Theater.

The Latest

Climate Crisis
Podcast
Climate Crisis
by Zsófi Kozma, Bíborka Béres, Éva Bubla, Kinga Szemessy, Fanni Nánay
21 October 2022
We Are All Kin to the Cove Brings Climate-Engaged Community Performance to Queens, New York
Essay
We Are All Kin to the Cove Brings Climate-Engaged Community Performance to Queens, New York
by Talia Rodriguez
22 September 2022
Climate Change Discourse in Performing Arts and a Performance of Habituare (Habituation) by Ioana Hogman
Video
Climate Change Discourse in Performing Arts and a Performance of Habituare (Habituation) by Ioana Hogman
A Focus on the Concept of Solastalgia, Hosted by Reactor in Cluj, Romania
Wednesday 29 June and Thursday 30 June 2022
Cluj, Romania
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.

Performance of Stegosaurus (Or) Three Cheers for Climate Change by Andrew Saito
Video

Performance of Stegosaurus (Or) Three Cheers for Climate Change by Andrew Saito

Saturday 2 April 2016
San Francisco, CA, United States

FaultLine Theater in San Francisco presented the world premiere of Stegosaurus (Or) Three Cheers for Climate Change, an absurd dark comedy by Andrew Saito, livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 2 April at 4:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco) / 6:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 7:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 23:30 GMT. Follow @howlroundtv in Twitter for updates. 

Kill New Play Deniers
Essay

Kill New Play Deniers

2 March 2016

Ira Gamerman reports on Australian playwright David Finnigan's new play Kill Climate Deniers that has been funded through an arts grant from the Australian government and called out as a waste of government arts spending although it hasn’t premeried yet.

Thirst
Video

Thirst

A Climate Change Theatre Action at Jackalope Theatre

Wednesday 16 December 2015
Chicago, IL, United States

Jackalope Theatre Company in Chicago, IL, USA—in association with Underscore Productions—is proud to have presented Thirst: A Climate Change Theatre Action—livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Wednesday 16 December at 5:30 p.m. PST (Los Angeles) / 7:30 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 8:30 p.m. EST (New York). In Twitter, use #ClimateChangeTheatreAction @jackalopetc. Follow @howlroundtv.

COP OUT—Art Speaks Out On Climate Change at Arts House
Video

COP OUT—Art Speaks Out On Climate Change at Arts House

Friday 11 December 2015
Melbourne, Australia

Arts House in Melbourne, Australia hosted COP OUT—Art Speaks Out On Climate Change—livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Friday 11 December at 7:30 p.m. AEST (Melbourne) / 9:30 a.m. CET (Paris) / 8:30 a.m. GMT (London) / 3:30 a.m. EST (New York) / 12:30 a.m. PST (Los Angeles). In Twitter, engage with #copout21 and @artshousemelb.

Climate Change Madness from Ohio University's MFA Playwriting Program
Video

Climate Change Madness from Ohio University's MFA Playwriting Program

4 December 2015
Athens, Ohio

Ohio University's MFA Playwriting Program and Climate Change Theatre Action presented Climate Change Madness livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Friday 4 December at 6 p.m. PST (Vancouver) / 8 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 9 p.m. EST (New York). In Twitter, use #ClimateChangeTheatreAction & follow @HowlRoundTV.

Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions
Essay

Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions

19 November 2015

Jeff Chang on Detroit-based Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions, a narrative, concert, visual installation, architectural piece, and convening space to distribute revolutionary ideas and activate creative ecosystems and economies of change. 

Climate Change Theatre Action Event at Artichoke Dance
Video

Climate Change Theatre Action Event at Artichoke Dance

Saturday 7 November 2015
New York, NY, United States

Artichoke Dance in New York City presented a Climate Change Theatre Action event with eight new theatrical works as part of ArtCOP21—worldwide performances bringing awareness to and fostering dialogue around climate change—livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 7 November at 8 p.m. EST (New York) / 7 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 5 p.m. PST (Los Angeles). In Twitter use #artcop21#ArtichokeDance, and follow @ArtichokeDance and @HowlRoundTV.

Garden of Inspiration
Essay

Garden of Inspiration

Going Green with Radical Evolution and The Movement Theatre Company

9 October 2015

Katie Naka discusses the Go Green pop-up experience in Harlem and advocates experimenting with urban green spaces as venues.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Latinos and the Rebirth of Post-Katrina New Orleans
Essay

Latinos and the Rebirth of Post-Katrina New Orleans

29 August 2015

José Torres-Tama writes about his experience in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina, ten years ago.

Sarah Cameron Sunde's 36.5 / a durational performance with the sea
Video

Sarah Cameron Sunde's 36.5 / a durational performance with the sea

Monday 10 August 2015
The Netherlands

36.5 / a durational performance with the sea was livestreamed on HowlRound TV on Monday 10 August from 1:45 a.m.-2:45 p.m. EDT (New York) / 12:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 11:45 p.m. (8/9)-12:45 p.m. MDT (Denver) / 10:45 p.m. (8/9)-11:45 a.m. PDT (Los Angeles). For rain date and more info, please visit 365waterproject.org.

Music and Movements
Essay

Music and Movements

Cry You One at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas

2 July 2015

David Bruin on Mondo Bizarro and ArtSpot Productions’ Cry You One at the Arts & Ideas Festival in New Haven, Connecticut.

This Changes Everything 2015 Dialogue Series on Climate Change
Video

This Changes Everything 2015 Dialogue Series on Climate Change

11 May, 18 May, 30 May, and 1 June 2015
New York, NY, United States

The Foundry Theatre presented their 2015 Dialogue series This Changes Everything with events in New York City that will be livestreamed on global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on 11 May, 18 May, 30 May, and 1 June at 4 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles) / 6 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 7 p.m. EDT (New York) / 23:00 GMT / 12 a.m. BST (London).