In comparison with Literary Studies and Media and Film Studies, the disciplines of Theatre and Performance, with their strong anthropocentric heritage, have been relatively slow in responding to such things as climate change, species extinction, or pollution and toxicity etc. However, in the wake of recent work on animals, cyborgs, and objects, as well as publications with a specific focus on ecology and environment, there are real signs that theatre and performance scholars are beginning to make their own contribution to the Environmental Humanities. But if theatre critics are engaged in new forms of ecocritical analysis, it is worth posing a pertinent question from the outset: namely, what can theatre do ecologically?
In this book, leading researchers and practitioners seek to answer that question from a number of perspectives and with diverse methodologies. Topics include: reflections on rehearsal processes, scores for performance, site-based interventions, ideas of conflict, investigations of temporality and time ecology, ecospectating, and the experience of disappointment. Taken together, these essays make an important intervention in the emergent (inter)disciplines of the Environmental Humanities and further our understanding of the ecological potential of Theatre and Performance in ways that are cautious, tentative but also generative.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism.
Carl Lavery is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Glasgow, UK. He has published numerous articles and books on theatre and ecology, including Rethinking the Theatre of the Absurd: Ecology, Environment and the Greening of the Modern Stage (2015). His current book project is Interrogating the Human: Ecology, Theatre and Theatricality.
Introduction: Performance and Ecology - what can Theatre do? Carl Lavery
Chapter 1: On Creating a Climate of Attention: The Composition of Our Work Karen Christopher and Sophie Grodin
Chapter 2: The Performance 'Apparatus': Performance and its Documentation as Ecological Practice Minty Donald
Chapter 3: Projecting Climate Scenarios, Landscaping Nature, and Knowing Performance: On Becoming Performed by Ecology. Baz Kershaw.
Chapter 4: Theatre, Conflict, Nature Wallace Heim
Chapter 5: Theatre and Time Ecology: Deceleration in Stifters Dinge and L'Effet de Serge Carl Lavery
Chapter 6: Confounding Ecospectations: Disappointment and Hope in the Forest Dee Heddon