Helping the public engage in climate change requires skillful communication and a lot of creativity. One troupe of performers in Northern Europe decided to break out of the box altogether. In the summer of 2019, they presented a performance piece in Norway and Denmark. Instead of bringing the audience into a theatre, Acting for Climate took their show to eight different harbors. For a stage, they used a very large wooden boat. Into the Water is a theatrical circus performance aimed at raising ecological awareness. In addition to the performance, they organized festivals at each of the harbors.
Acting for Climate members Abigael Rydtun Winsvold and Nathan Biggs-Penton recreate the performance for our listening audience. Hear about the circus artists and their amazing feats as they climb the eight-story high mast, do acrobatics, and take the audience on a wild and moving ride. After each performance, the troupe connected with the audience for further discussion.
Abigael found the response to be better than she imagined:
People came up to us and said that they were really really touched. Even sixty-year-old men, which I don’t normally see crying. I barely have seen anyone I don’t know crying in this age group. They came up to us and said, “Wow! I’m really touched. I’m just going to take a walk and cry for myself right now.” That was really touching for us to hear people were touched by the performance, not only excited, but also shaken a bit somehow.
Coming up next month, Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, a new book that fuses faith and personal narrative with climate action.
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(Photo courtesy of Acting for Climate.)
This article is part of The Art House series.
As host of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Peterson Toscano regularly features artists who address climate change in their work. The Art House section of his program includes singer/songwriters, visual artists, comics, creative writers, and playwrights. Through a collaboration with Artists and Climate Change and Citizens’ Climate Education, each month Peterson reissues The Art House for this blog. If you have an idea for The Art House, contact Peterson: radio @ citizensclimatelobby.org