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What is ecodramaturgy?

Ecodramaturgy is a critical framework for making and studying theatre and performance in the Anthropocene that encompasses environmental narratology and sustainable producing practices. Una Chaudhuri and Theresa May write that humanist theatre asks, "who are we?" while ecological theatre asks "where are we?" Ecodrama seeks to deanthropocentrize narratives and break down binaries between nature and culture, hope and despair, the individual and the community while telling climate change stories. Ecodramaturgy includes the building of a new green canon of performance texts and excavating environmental strategies in canonical texts. It is an actively anti-racist, anti-ableist approach to performance theory and praxis that centers Indigeneity, gender inclusivity, and accessibility. Applying a climate justice lens to the embodied practice of theatre making, ecodramaturgy requires an intersectional approach to addressing the climate crisis, environmental racism, wealth inequality, and other ongoing forms of oppression both onstage and off.


Warming stripes depicting annual mean global temperatures from 1850-2018.
Source: Climate scientist Ed Hawkins, Climate Lab Book, University of Reading, U.K.

Ecodramaturgy courses, lectures, and public events

Writing Climate Change | Northwestern University (writing workshop/seminar)

Telling the Story of Climate Change | DePaul University Honors Program (interdisciplinary seminar)

Ecodrama on the Global Stage: Performance, Scenography, and Technology at the Prague Quadrennial (study abroad in the Czech Republic, upcoming)

Staging Climate Change | FLAME University, Pune, India (guest lecture)

Environmental Dramaturgy | LMDA Dramaturging the Phoenix (guest talk)

Additional reading on the Anthropocene

Articles and Essays

Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon by Sarah Jaquette Ray (climate change and white privilege)

Intersectional Environmentalist founded by Leah Thomas (intersectional approaches to environmentalism)

Beyond the Narrative Arc by Jane Alison (environmental narratology)

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells (also the book by the same title)

Under the Weather by Ash Sanders (climate change and grief)

Decolonization is not a metaphor by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang (decolonization scholarship)

The Pitfalls and Potentials of the New Minimalism by Jia Tolentino (climate change and minimalism)

Climate Signs by Emily Raboteau (climate change and conceptual art)

Elegy for a Country's Seasons by Zadie Smith (climate change and grief)


Emergent Strategies by adrienne maree brown

The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

All We Can Save ed. by Elizabeth Ayanna Johnson and Katherine Wilson

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake 

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Timefulness by Marcia Bjornerud

Second Body by Daisy Hildyard

We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer


How to Save a Planet (climate solutions podcast)

Dear Mother Nature by Pattie Gonia (performance art)

Rest by Frederick Kennedy (hybrid performance art)

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