Dweepa (The Island): A Play with Beginnings in the Questions of Climate Change

This article was originally published on HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community, on April 19, 2016. In 2014, the subject of ecological philosophy made its way from a bookshelf to my study table. Having been a student of environmental economics earlier, the various scientific, social, and eco-political debates were not new to me, but despite the urgency of the situation, I had never wanted to make theatre about this subject. It was eco-philosophy that made me wonder about addressing our ecological crisis in the theatre. My enquiry was framed by a simple question: “Why are we causing harm to the planet when we are absolutely certain that it is unfailingly counter-intuitive to rock the boat one is sailing in?” Of course there are some common answers to this question that include words such as development and short–sightedness, but I had never found these answers satisfactory since they suspiciously point more towards the symptoms than the real issue. They

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A Hope I Can Live With

This article was originally published on HowlRound, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community, on September 20, 2016. I am a theatre director in an early stage of thinking about performance and climate change—more of an idea and question gathering place than a how-that-translates-to-process-and-dramaturgy place. This is a tour of some ideas. This past fall, I co-organized a conversation with Sarah Cameron Sunde and Moe Yousuf in conjunction with the Theatre Without Borders Conference. About twenty-five folks (across disciplines and nationalities) shared personal entry points to making real the massiveness of climate change; themes I remember include anticipatory grief, environmental racism, individual vs. collective agency, and tempered hope in human ingenuity and the earth’s resilience. Then, Sarah invited Moe to lead us in making pickles. Pickling framed our conversation in a longer experience of time, and it gave (some of) us a reason to meet again later to experience our (well, failed) pickles. Also thinking of a conversation I had with Dehlia Hannah.

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