A Year in Theatrical Review, Featuring Climate Change

As this year sprints to a close, I’ve been thinking back on what all has happened in the world, the country, the city I live in. And then I have to take a breath. Slowing it down in my mind, I reflect on the outside world: the fears, the confusion, the urgency. Then I reflect on the experiences I’ve had inside a theatre, and how so many of those experiences drew together events and questions from the world at large, putting them into conversation with theatre audiences. Most of the plays that I’ve seen are not about the planet’s climate. The plays that I’m reflecting on inspire me to address climate change more intersectionally, using tactics that reach audiences not only on environmental questions, but also around political and cultural considerations. What follows is not an exhaustive list, nor a series of critical reviews, but rather some standout theatrical experiences of the past year, and how they are fueling me

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Going Up: Climate Change + Philadelphia

In Going Up: Climate Change + Philadelphia, eight artists from around the country – Daniel Crawford, Lorrie Fredette, Jim Frazer, Eve Mosher, Jill Pelto, Kaitlin Pomerantz and John Heron, and Michelle Wilson – explore the future of a hotter, wetter Philadelphia. Several of the artists use data as a point of departure, and others suggest imaginative ways of thinking about problems and solutions, even considering the responsibility of art to reduce its own carbon footprint. The gallery contains artwork made for indoor display as well as pieces that document social practice or conceptual art that happened outside the gallery or studio, less focused on the product than the process. Many help us to notice our surroundings more closely, observing the small and incremental changes around us that track global change. Going Up opened on September 24th at the Schuylkill Center, and runs through December 2016. Artist duo Kaitlin Pomerantz & John Heron explored waste and water pollution, presenting an imaginative way to think

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