Climate Change and Theatre cancelled
Can theatre save the world? In the face of the climate crisis, this question feels especially urgent. This course will consider the relationship of theatre to the environment and climate change, looking at how we got to this point, and where we might go from here. We will consider how ideas about the environment have been spread through classic texts such as Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Ibsen’s Enemy of the People. We’ll compare how non-western performances offer different relationships with the environment. And we’ll analyze how performance has responded to climate anxiety; through visions of dystopia and an end of the world, as in Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker and Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play; through arts activism; and through experimental performance like environmental and immersive theatre. This course is for anyone who is concerned about climate change and interested in how the arts could respond. Most sessions will function as seminar, with short lectures and in-depth discussion about artistic and theoretical texts. We will also workshop different ideas on their feet. My aim is for students to become comfortable enough with this artistic and theoretical mode that they can critique performances across genres from this perspective, articulate their own relationship to it, and see how it might inform their own work.