On November 1st, Plantable (made up Meghan Moe Beitiks, Bronwyn Preece and Lisa Woynarski) performed an ecological action on the streets and state capitol of Nashville, Tennessee. As part of the American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR) conference, the performance began with a procession through the streets of downtown Nashville. Carrying large red buckets full of red wiggler worms, the performance proceeded to the grounds of the State Capitol where we surrounded a tree and “planted” the worms at the base. Red wiggler worms are prized for their fertilisation qualities and their ability to enrich the soil, providing nourishment for the tree. In conversation with State Capitol maintenance staff, we learned of previous, but not current, usage of RoundUp on these trees – necessitating further remediation, and equally not jeopardizing the life of the worms. Amidst curious looks and questions from onlookers, the performance sought to bring the research questions of the ASTR Ecology and Performance Working Session to a form of praxis, asking what the intersection of an ecologically positive action, performance and intervention would look like.
See video of the performance action here: