November 1st

The Celebrated Trees of Nashville: Ecological Performance Action

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:

ASTR Working Session Calls for Papers “Trans-cultural, trans-national, trans-species histories in performance”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Since their first American Society for The Theatre Research (ASTR) Working Group session at the 2010 conference in Seattle, the Performance and Ecology Working Group has spawned symposia, anthologies, and publications. Foremost among those is a new volume that grew out of the 2010 session: Readings in Performance and Ecology, eds., Wendy Arons and Theresa J. May (Palgrave 2012). The Working Group has continued valuable research on numerous fronts, including “Earth Matters on Stage” conference at Carnegie Mellon University (2012) and “Staging Sustainability” at York University (2011).

“The rising tide of this focused research indicate not only a growing concern and mounting artistic will in the realm of ecological sensibility, but also faith in the imagination as a critical aspect of our individual and collective ecological identities.”

This year, as part of ASTR’s “Theatrical Histories” focus, they turn their attention to trans-cultural, trans-national, and trans-species performance in anticipation of a second volume of ecocritical writings on theatre and performance. The questions for the upcoming 2012 Working Group session, that will take place November 1st.- 4th 2012 include:

  •  How do transcultural and transnational performances re-map our understanding of what May has called “ecodramaturgy”?
  •  What constitutes “theatre of species” (Chaudhuri) and how might these trans-species performances rearrange or reinterpret understandings of representation?
  •  How do the material characteristics of artistic sites condition the aesthetics of the work produced?
  •  What kinds of geological and geographical histories emerge alongside socio-cultural storytelling?
  •  How do intersecting histories – indigenous, place-based, community-driven – play out on stage in performance?
  •  How do ecological transitions, transmigrations, transmutations, transformations and transference shape artistic practice and meaning-making in the theatre?
  •  Other questions, approaches and topics that clearly address trans-national, trans-cultural, trans-species topics in performance.

Please send Abstracts as word attachments to both Working Group conveners below by May 31, 2012:

Theresa May, University of Oregon ( tmay33 [at] uoregon [dot] edu)

Nelson Gray, University of Victoria ( ncgray [at] uvic [dot] ca)

 More info:

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21