Artist Report: Aphra Shemza

We are thrilled to share with you this very first Artist Report, which focuses on the work of UK-based multimedia artist Aphra Shemza. A natural extension of the CSPA’s exploration of sustainability and the arts in our publication the Quarterly, Artist Reports focus on a single artist and provide an in-depth look at their practice and the way they engage with sustainability.

Edited by: Chantal Bilodeau, By (artist): Aphra Shemza, Notes by: Catherine Baxendale

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 Šimić 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.

Green Rooms 2020 – The Earth is Watching: Let’s Act Carbon Emissions Report

As part of its response to the escalating climate crisis and in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic NAC English Theatre in partnership with Festival of Live Digital Art (FOLDA), the Canada Council for the Arts, The City of Kingston, HowlRound Theatre Commons, National Theatre School of Canada and York University brought together participants for an extraordinary three-day/three-country digital experiment that reflected on the future of theatre.

The Green Rooms were fueled with spirited conversations with leaders in fields such as climate activism, ecological economy and environmental humanities, as well as with theatre artists and leaders who have found innovative ways to engage with the climate crisis.

A limited number of active participants joined the event on Zoom from eight cities across three countries: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, and Halifax, as well as London (U.K.) and New York. In addition, a livestream of the event was accessible to spectators everywhere.

Please note: If participants were not in one of those cities, they were still able to participate by joining the city closest or most meaningful to them.

We invite you to view the proceedings recorded and available on this site and read the reports too!

Co-curated by Sarah Garton Stanley and Chantal Bilodeau.

Where Is The Hope : An Anthology Of Short Climate Change Plays

Fusebox ReportWhere 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 Ávila, 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 Lesa, 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.

CSPA Sustainability Survey: Fusebox Festival

Fusebox ReportThe Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts partnered with the Fusebox Festival for their 2012 program to creatively evaluate and explore both the environmental and cultural impacts of producing a festival. The project involved members of the festival’s community, including the festival’s directors, audience members, visiting artists, and staff. Data was gathered primarily to produce a dynamic data visualization to be accessible online and in tangible form at the festival hub.

Through surveys, direct observation, and box office data, we set out to examine the relationship between festival activities, cultural interest and infrastructure, and hints of economic effects of the festival. In short, we were interested in the idea of cultural off-setting. Is producing an inter/national arts festival locally beneficial, both culturally and economically? And, what are the costs to the environment to produce such a festival?

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