Founded in 2015, Climate Change Theatre Action is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented biennially to coincide with the United Nations COP meetings.
Who We Are
CCTA was founded by Elaine Ãvila, Chantal Bilodeau, Roberta Levitow, and Caridad Svich following a model pioneered by NoPassport Theatre Alliance. It has since evolved into a collaboration between The Arctic Cycle, the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, and Theatre Without Borders.
A global participatory project, CCTA uses theatre to bring communities together and encourage them to take local and global action on climate. By providing tools (a series of plays) free of charge, some guidance on how to produce events, marketing support, and a model that encourages leadership and self-determination, we make it easy for everyone to engage with an art form they may not be familiar with, and we empower them to harness their creative potential and put it in service of the greater good.
How We Do It
Every other year, fifty professional playwrights, representing all inhabited continents as well as several cultures and Indigenous nations, are commissioned to write five-minute plays about an aspect of climate change based on a prompt.
This collection of plays is then available to producing collaborators interested in presenting an event during the project’s time window, typically in the fall. Events can be in-house readings, public performances, radio shows, podcasts, film adaptations, the possibilities are endless! Collaborators can design their event to reflect their own aesthetic and community, and include additional material by local artists.
To emphasize the “Action” part of Climate Change Theatre Action, collaborators are also urged to think about an action, educational, social, or political/civic, that can be incorporated into their event. It may involve the scientific community, other departments within a university, local environmental organizations, etc. Examples of actions from previous years include: presentations by scientists; donations to hurricane relief efforts and food banks; conversations with social justice and environmental organizations; writing letters to legislators, and; sharing tools for sustainability at the local level.
Want to Join Us?
We are thrilled to share our theme for Climate Change Theatre Action 2023, “All Good Things Must Begin,” inspired by the journal entry of American science fiction writer Octavia Butler. Butler was incredibly prescient, writing about extremism, racial justice, and climate change some 30 years ago. By setting intentions and visualizing a positive outcome, she defied the odds and became the author of many celebrated novels, winning each of science fiction’s highest honors. CCTA 2023 runs from September 17 to December 23, 2023.
While the worlds of her novels depict the violent challenges of today’s interlocking crises, her protagonists remain devoted to thriving, to achieving survival beyond the destructive and oppressive societies they come from. The climate crisis demands the same kind of imaginative leap: we will create a just and regenerative world only if we dare to imagine it first, and use that vision to guide us through the difficulties.
We hope you will get involved by organizing an event in your community using one or several plays from our collection of 50 plays.
For more information, visit our CCTA website.
To request access to the plays, email us at email@example.com.
The Future is not Fixed: Short Plays Envisioning a Global Green New Deal
For all of the political, economic, and technological obstacles that stand in the way of addressing climate change, perhaps the greatest challenge is in the realm of imagination. Can we envision a better world? What might an equitable, sustainable, decarbonized, and just society look like? What if the concept of a Green New Deal—the initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while addressing interwoven social problems like economic inequality and racial injustice—could become reality?
The Future Is Not Fixed presents a dazzling variety of answers to this questions in the form of fifty plays commissioned for Climate Change Theatre Action 2021. The pieces feature a wide range of styles and perspectives, from realist dramas to experimental works, encompassing the dangers that we face as well as ecstatic possibilities for a renewed social contract.
Writers include Giancarlo Abrahan, Javaad Alipoor, Keith Barker, Elena Eli Belyea, Nic Billon, Wren Brian, Damon Chua, Paula Cizmar, Hanna Cormick, Nelson Diaz-Marcano, Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Karen Elias, Nathan Ellis, Dylan Thomas Elwood, Alister Emerson, Angella Emurwon, Georgina HL Escobar, David Finnigan, Patti Flather, Miranda Rose Hall, Kamil Haque, Whiti Hereaka, Jessica Huang, Faezeh Jalali, Aleya Kassam, Nikhil Katara, Himali Kothari, Heidi Kraay, Camila Le-bert, Philip Luswata, Zizi Majid, Mwendie Mbugua, Margaret Namulyanga, Yvette Nolan, Corey Payette, Thomas Peterson, Nicole Pschetz, Mark Rigney, Kiana Rivera, Madeline Sayet, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Zoë Svendsen, Chris Thorpe, Peterson Toscano, Dylan Van Den Berg, Caity-Shea Violette, Pat To Yan, Haeweon Yi, Marcus Youssef with Seth Klein, Carla Zúñiga Morales
Lighting the Way : An Anthology Of Short Climate Change Plays
Edited by Chantal Bilodeau and Thomas Peterson, Lighting the Way: An Anthology of Short Plays About the Climate Crisis includes 49 inspiring plays by writers from around the world commissioned for Climate Change Theatre Action 2019, plus an introduction by Chantal Bilodeau and essays by Julia Levine, Charissa Menefee, Thomas Peterson, Triga Creative, and Brooke Wood.
Responding to a prompt asking them to give centre stage to the unsung climate warriors and climate heroes who are lighting the way toward a just and sustainable future, the writers offer a diversity of perspectives and artistic approaches to telling the stories of those who are making a positive impact.
We couldn’t be more proud of this book and hope you’ll like it as much as we do.
Writers include Hassan Abdulrazzak, Elaine Ãvila, Chantal Bilodeau, Yolanda Bonnell, Philip Braithwaite, Damon Chua, Paula Cizmar, Hanna Cormick, Derek Davidson, Sunny Drake, Clare Duffy, Brian Dykstra, Alister Emerson, Georgina Escobar, David Finnigan, David Geary, Nelson Gray, Jordan Hall, Kamil Haque, Monica Hoth, Zainabu Jallo, Vinicius Jatobá, Vitor Jatobá, Marcia Johnson, MaryAnn Karanja, Andrea Lepcio, Joan Lipkin, Philip Luswata, Abhishek Majumdar, Julie McKee, Giovanni Ortega, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Lana Nasser, Yvette Nolan, Matthew Paul Olmos, Corey Payette, Katie Pearl, Shy Richardson and Karina Yager, Kiana Rivera, Madeline Sayet, Stephen Sewell, Lena Å imic with Neal and Sid Anderson, Caridad Svich, Elspeth Tilley, Peterson Toscano, Mike van Graan, Meaza Worku, Marcus Youssef, and Nathan Yungerberg.
Lighting the Way is also available from Barnes & Noble and your domestic Amazon store.
Lighting the Way Design Book: CCTA 2019 EcoDesign Charrette
After the 2019 Global Climate Strike Triga Creative was inspired to take on a leadership role in our local sustainability movement through the mentorship of Ian Garrett of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts. Comprised of Shannon Lea Doyle, Alexandra Lord, and Michelle Tracey, Triga formed in 2018 as a collective of Toronto-based designers who share the goal of developing new working models for theatre design and live performance.
In addition, we were already dedicated to providing our creative community of independent designers with resources—a physical studio space, intergenerational mentorship opportunities, and values-based artistic exchange—in order to increase the sustainability of their lives and careers in a precarious and competitive industry.
After feeling the enthusiasm of the Global Climate Strike, we wanted to learn more about ecoscenography as a conceptual approach to dramaturgy and as a practical framework to design for theatre and performance. We saw that Triga was well- placed to provide our community with access to the resources and knowledge we, as individual designers, were seeking, and hoped our collective could encourage greater creative ecological thinking amongst our peers.
We found just such an opportunity when Ian introduced us to the 50 short plays commissioned by Climate Change Theatre Action in early 2019. Ian suggested CCTA as a platform to reach the international community of playwrights and other theatre artists involved in this project. We leapt at the idea. The CCTA short plays focus on aspects of the climate crisis, providing a unique opportunity to explore ecoscenographic practices and to share this exploration with an established network of artists. We dreamt of bringing designers together to read, discuss, and develop design concepts for all 50 plays. We imagined that through rapid design seeding, we could expand how a community of designers imagines ecoscenography and its power to change the world.
Where Is The Hope : An Anthology Of Short Climate Change Plays
Where is the Hope? An Anthology of Short Climate Change Plays is a collection of 50 short plays by writers from all over the world, commissioned for Climate Change Theatre Action 2017. A creative response to the question “How can we inspire people and turn the challenges of climate change into opportunities?”, the plays offer a diversity of perspectives and artistic approaches in telling stories that may point to a just and sustainable future.
Included in this anthology are works by Hassan Abdulrazzak, Keith Josef Adkins, Reneltta Arluk, Elaine Ãvila, Catherine Banks, Chantal Bilodeau, Philip Braithwaite, Jody Christopherson & Ryan McCurdy, Mindi Dickstein, Clare Duffy, Angella Emurwon, Kendra Fanconi, Lanxing Fu & Jeremy Pickard, David Geary, Maria George, Jordan Hall, Vinicius Jatobá, C. A. Johnson, Marcia Johnson, Hiro Kanagawa, MaryAnn Karanja, Amahl Khouri, Catherine Lager, Ian Lesā, E. M. Lewis, Jessica Litwak, Kevin Loring, Abhishek Majumdar, Anita Majumdar, Kasaya Manulevu, Shahid Nadeem, Sharleen Ndlovu, Dave Ojay, Achiro P. Olwoch, Giovanni Ortega, David Paquet, Sarena Parmar, Katie Pearl, Elyne Quan, Lynn Rosen, Ian Rowlands, Lisa Schlesinger, Stephen Sewell, Saviana Stanescu, Caridad Svich, Jordan Tannahill, Elspeth Tilley, Meaza Worku, Nathan Yungerberg, and Maya Zbib.
CCTA Archive on Sustainablepractice.org
- CCTA 2023: Announcing Our 50 Playwrights
- CCTA 2023 Virtual Meetup
- Launching CCTA 2023
- Critical Stages/Scènes critiques: On Theatre and Ecology at Critical Junctions featuring many CSPA Contributors online now!
- CSPA Supports: Climate Change Theatre Action 2021 Micro-Grants to Canadian Artists
- Climate Change Theatre Action 2019 Anthology: Lighting The Way
- Read a CCTA Play
- Read a short play for Climate Change Theatre Action
- Climate Change Theatre Action 2019 is Just around the Corner!