Anthropocene, a high-impact original devised physical theatre performance that examines our current geological epoch—an age in which human activity has significantly impacted our climate and environment. The convergence of the global syndemic—the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, social justice unrest, and social systems pushed to their breaking point—indicates an imperative for real change. The topic of human-caused climate change is urgent. Indeed, in August 2021, the United Nations (UN) issued a report declaring “a code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable.” Because scientific data can be opaque and difficult to decipher, climate scientists face challenges in prompting the general public to act. This is where performance comes in.
Anthropocene, a multi-year transdisciplinary performance project, fuses innovative aesthetics, sustainable production processes, and evocative storytelling with an award-winning creative team to express the acute need for climate action in accordance with several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The piece foregrounds physical storytelling by staging evocative movement-based episodes that are woven together to examine key questions:
The development of the piece includes design retreats, devising labs, research travel to obtain original video imagery, sound samples, and interviews, our digital and physical lobbies.
Anthropocene is an evocative piece of physical theatre that crafts layered visual storytelling into a non-linear mosaic of moments, with text sparsely incorporated through projections and recordings. Our creative process centers eco-dramaturgy, a critical framework for making and interrogating theatre focused on ecological issues and sustainable production practices. While the content and storytelling of Anthropocene are highly imaginative, of equal import is its commitment to sustainability. Costumes will be constructed from recycled/upcycled materials. Our lobbies will provide climate action resources based on cutting-edge sustainability science.
To accomplish these groundbreaking approaches while pushing aesthetic boundaries, we have secured the talents of award-winning designers: Douglas Clark (scenic designer), Maci Hosler (costume designer), Dan Perelstein Jaquette (sound designer), Jacob Pinholster (projection designer), Ethan Steimel (lighting designer), Adam Sanders (props designer), and narrative consultant Steven Beschloss.
This multi-year/multi-phase transdisciplinary performance project, which began in 2019, is expansive in scale and scope. In consultation with leading sustainability scientists, in addition to the performance, we will build a robust community engagement platform to generate dialogues and actionable solutions for climate change aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We will build a series of seminars around the performance and publish detailed dramaturgical documentation of our research, process, and methodology.