The Flood Project: Thinking through an Applied Dramaturgy Framework for Community Regeneration

Linda Hassall*, Tanja Beer**, Saffron Benner*** and Natalie Lazaroo****

Abstract

This paper discusses the concept of ecosceno-dramaturgy as a framework for facilitating community renewal following the Rocklea floods of 2022 in Meanjin/Brisbane, Australia. Currently in development, The Flood Project departs from the hyperrealist trend of theatre dramaturgies that explores climate change disasters in Australia as a traditional play script. Created as a site-specific applied theatre research (ATR) performance project, the development and design dramaturgies situate real-life testimonies of a flood-affected community. The confluence of ecoscenography and ecodramaturgy is crucial to investigating site specificity, as “place” itself is the dramatic provocation, a space of resistance, response, recovery and renewal.

Keywords: Ecosceno-dramaturgies, applied theatre research, site-specific performance, community resilience, post-disaster recovery

The paper will discuss a dramaturgical framework that explores the relationship between ecodramaturgy, ecoscenography and climate dramaturgy as tools for facilitating community renewal, through rich environmental accounts pertaining to the Rocklea flood in Meanjin/Brisbane (2022). Thinking Through an Applied Dramaturgy Framework for Community Regeneration responds to calls for developing “creative artistic practice in theatre in the context of living through the rapidly accelerating crisis of global climate breakdown” (Svendsen 6) and calls for climate change responses that “embrace the complexity, mutability, interconnectivity, inconstancy and the uncertainty of ecology” (Benner 279). Importantly, the framework offers an “ecocreative practice that emphasises the practice-researchers’ imaginative capacity to place sustainability and climate justice at the core of the artistic vision” (Beer, Ecoscenography 25).

The confluence of ecodramaturgy, climate dramaturgy and ecoscenography is crucial to the investigation of site specificity in this context, as place itself is the dramatic provocation, a layered site of trauma, resistance, response, recovery and renewal. Conjoined, the dramaturgical confluence is referred to for the purpose of this discussion as ecosceno-dramaturgies—and its anticipated application will be to work with the Rocklea community to collaborate on eco-creative solutions for climate change resilience, adaptation and equity. The Flood Project is in its early stages of development, with the research team only entering the field in late November 2023 to begin the process of engaging in transparent community dialogues on the project aims and objectives, which will frame the anticipated creative development process.

Conceived as a site-specific applied theatre research (ATR) performance project, the development and design dramaturgies situate real-life testimonies of a flood-affected community within a climate disaster site in Rocklea. The ex-industrial, inner-city residential suburb of Rocklea houses one of the largest national distribution markets for Australia’s horticultural producers, as well as various transport businesses, including a community train station, a pub, a primary school and a local football club, all of which were significantly inundated and all of which we hope to get involved in the project development. At the centre of the community is a large seven-hectare nature reserve—Kookaburra Park—wherein the production will be produced (anticipated late 2024). The suburb was described in the media as Ground Zero during the 2022 Queensland floods.

The Flood Project positions itself within contemporary ecocritical discourses that respond to natural disasters and climate catastrophes. We propose the concept of an applied ecosceno-dramaturgical framework (outlined below), as key to creating a communal space for Rocklea and community residents to amplify their voices, reflect on their post-disaster experiences and cultivate hope, agency and a sense of belonging post-flood disaster. Ultimately, an applied ecosceno-dramaturgical framework such as this one aims to support disaster-impacted communities to (re)build resilience through applied theatre processes and can be applied in various climate-affected communities across Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand and beyond. Further, it encourages communities and artists to “‘imagine the unimaginable’ in order to better prepare for ongoing and escalating disasters” (Fraser et al. qtd. in Papastergiadis 4). The (inter)subjective and experiential dimensions of site-specific ecopractices will further provide a rich source of stimulus for investigating ecological theatre that supports sustainability as the heart of production process.

Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand are particularly vulnerable to catastrophic climate change, with many states, cities and regions experiencing escalating weather intensity. As the effects of climate change on the landscape intensify, our understanding of the places in which we live are undergoing significant change. The devastating effects of long-term drought, destructive floods, catastrophic and frequent bush fire, earthquakes and rising sea levels now dictate that one in one-hundred-year climate change events are happening daily, weekly, monthly. Communities are reeling as lives and livelihoods are being taken by the “voracious climate change beast” (Hassall, Theatres of Dust ix). Amitav Ghosh has suggested that as the climate crisis is also a crisis of culture, it requires theatre makers to reimagine how to respond to it and to question how to move out of the trappings of traditional frameworks. Lisa Woynarksi (2–4) believes theatre has a unique capacity to address the complex, interconnected issues of climate change since it can both challenge and influence cultural narratives and convey complex, multilayered ideas through storytelling. Zoë Svendsen (8) insists theatre has a moral obligation and creative imperative to address climate change if it wants to remain culturally and socially relevant.

The applied ecosceno-dramaturgy is a framework for facilitating dramaturgical concepts about community renewal through rich environmental accounts pertaining to the floods that devastated not only Rocklea but many parts of Meanjin/Brisbane, Australia, in 2022. Extending on ecodramaturgical critical frameworks for developing and analysing theatre and performance in the Anthropocene, the incorporation of ecodramaturgical strategies into the framework identifies environmental narratology and sustainable producing practices as essential for site-specific performance-making of this nature.

Further, the confluence of conceptual and applied dramaturgies reveals environmental [theatrical] strategies for making performance in a community climate affected environment. Woynarksi discusses ecodramaturgy as a practice that acknowledges climate change as the “grand narrative of our current ecological context” (3) and Saffron Benner claims that ecodramaturgy offers two key contributions to theatre making: “first, emphasising the importance of space and place and second, highlighting the significance of complex interrelationships and interconnections to ecosystems” (285).

The “eco” in the context of ecosceno-dramaturgy as discussed in this paper acknowledges both discussions and embraces the ecological thought applied to the practice of theatre-making. The “sceno” refers to site design and scenographicconsiderations and applications as viewed through an ecological lens and draws on principles of climate dramaturgies (Svendsen) ecoscenography (Beer).

Together the “ecosceno” frames the processes and methods applied to The Flood Project’s dramaturgical strategies for working in and with the Rocklea community. The framework supports the developing of a future site-specific performance that explores the potential for ecological understanding, community engagement and renewal. Significantly, the framework provides space and a place for deep listening, to open ourselves to imagining multiple futures, pasts and presents.

Ecosceno-dramaturgical Framework

Using principles of ecodramaturgy, climate dramaturgy and ecoscenography, this framework considers positive environmental action as artistic practice. It offers an explicit suite of philosophical, ideation and practice considerations for theatre-making and aims to enrich the resilience and recovery experiences in disaster-affected communities, like Rocklea. The ecosceno-dramaturgical strategies that will be applied to The Flood Project have been developed to foster an ecorelationship between dramaturgy and community resilience and recovery in every aspect of the fieldwork—from early site inspection of Kookaburra Park (the anticipated site of the performance), to initial conversations with the affected community, to creative co-design of performance text and process. With community resilience and recovery at the heart of the work, development, performance and production dramaturgical approaches ultimately respect the communities ongoing experiences of disaster, including psychological well-being and environmental recovery.

The framework described below is malleable and can be adapted for other communities who have experienced climate change disasters. Artists working in such specific sites of climate catastrophe across Australasia and beyond can utilise the framework through considering the relationship between ecological philosophies and processes and ecopractice applications including:

Ecoanalysis of past and present natural disaster encounters in space and place

Analysing the continuing disruption and ongoing experiences of environmental place that the disaster and subsequent rain events have had on both the community and the site.

Ecoconnectivity to people in place

Establishing authentic connections within the community that include residents, individuals, businesses, schools and organisations that experienced the disaster on some level or provided disaster support to those affected. This approach establishes trust within the community by acknowledging and respecting levels and impact of experiences in space (psychological) and place (environment). The conversations for encouraging co-participation in the project are built transparently and respectfully around the value of each contribution, large or small. It is imperative that the process is ethical and does not ask the community to re-live trauma associated with the disaster; rather, it focuses on experiences and circumstances of recovery and resilience.

Ecoregenerative and thoughtful collation of narratives of place

Thoughtful and respectful considerations of how narratives can be incorporated into the site as performance is essential. Generating respectful strategies for eco application of verbatim performance in collaboration with the community acknowledges the site as a place for the multiplicity of alternative ways of incorporating knowledge in its physical attention to place and its psychological associations with the space.

Ecosensitivity towards human and non-human encounters

It is likely that community members will be engaged in the creative development and performance processes, as projects such as this are aimed at speaking with the community as opposed to for the community. Ensuring artists and production teams are sensitive to the human participants experiences of and in the site is crucial. Further, ensuring how the rehearsal/performance dramaturgies make the least impact on the ecology of the site is equally important. Essentially, the performative development and actions are constantly reshaped and adapted according to the daily observations of the sensitive needs and interests of the community and of the site itself.

Ecoscenographic applications over consumption production

Intrinsic to the process is Beer’s concept of ecoscenography, a design practice that challenges traditional approaches to performance design. Discussed in more detail in the following section, essentially the ecoscenographic approach ensures ecological design practices wherein protecting nature is fundamental to the process. It is an inclusive and holistic approach that respects multi-scalar engagement with space and place by considering an approach of co-creation (place-based community approach to design), celebration (of eco and sustainable approaches) and circulation (sharing philosophies, ideas, approaches and redistributing resources and materials at end of project).

Ecocreative empowerment

Ecocreative approaches to fostering resilience and recovery through theatre-making address the necessity to empower communities to deal with environmental problems in innovative ways. Developing creative responses to climate change experiences requires researchers and artists to be ecologically responsible in the dramaturgical framing, development and production processes. Ecocreative approaches utilise emotional, embodied and artistic approaches to share cultural, social and historical experiences of climate change in the specific site.

Ecoencounter with space place and people

As a [disaster-]site-specific performance project, the audience experience can be identified as an eco-encounter. This encounter re-stories the climate disaster site through community experience and significantly reframes the disaster through lenses of recovery and resilience. The encounter with the environment can raise ecological consciousness about climate change events and/or inspire curiosity about the ecological well-being of place and space. As such the ecoencounter inspires meaning beyond the disaster itself.

Ecoextraction from place and space

By embedding the ecoscenographic framework, within multi-layered perspectives and experiences, impact is identified beyond merely human issues embedded in the site. The ecosceno-dramaturgical design framework acknowledges not just the importance of developing deeper, sustainable and meaningful relationships with the community but with the land on which the community lives. As such, it is important to always consider environmental impacts and leave the site in the same state as when first encountered.

Towards Community Resilience and Recovery

The anticipated performance design departs from the hyperrealist trend of theatre dramaturgies that explore climate change disasters in Australia as traditional play script (Campbell and Hamilton; Carleton; McGahan and Charles; Hassall, “Salvation”; Marquet). Instead, the aim of The Flood Project is to explore individual and community experiences of the disaster through a verbatim, site-specific performance inquiry based in an applied ecosceno-dramaturgical methodology, which draws on responses to the February 2022 floods in and around Rocklea, a Brisbane suburb described as Ground Zero. Importantly, The Flood Project acknowledges how we can use applied dramaturgical processes to address community resilience, renewal and recovery.

A Rocklea resident’s double-story home on Boobook Street. The residence appears to be floating in approximately 8m flood water (high from road). Photo: Stephen Rowan (author’s personal image)

The production will highlight real-life testimonies from the community at the heart of the disaster. Rocklea, notorious for being a flood-prone area due to its proximity to Maiwar/the Brisbane River, was one of the hardest hit suburbs during the February 2022 floods. Regularly experiencing localised flooding in any heavy rain event, some residents are still reeling from a similar flooding disaster in 2011. The Flood Project aims to bring the community together to share their stories and to reconnect, respond and react to the continuing flood challenges they face.

As a site-specific verbatim performance project, the design dramaturgies will situate the real-life testimonies of a flood-affected community within the site of Kookaburra Park. Offering an ecosceno-dramaturgical approach to community-engaged performance, the site of the anticipated performance nurtures shared artistry, socially-just and ecoaware nuanced practice and community intentionality. As Sarah Peters and David Burton (14–17) intimate in their work on verbatim theatre methodologies, the Rocklea community experience provides a historical context for a verbatim theatre performance, including ethical applications for community immersion to form the foundation of community-engaged best practice. Experiences of resilience and recovery will be collated through open-ended interviews, and data collated will generate the process for developing the dramaturgical framing of the performance text.

Flood Mud. Photo: Stephen Rowan (author’s personal image)

A central premise of The Flood Project, therefore,is to open up new methods of connecting and collaborating with disaster affected communities: “to work co-creatively with communities, environments, materials and places; to appreciate and advocate for ‘more-than-human doing’; to engage in ‘acts of care’ that foster a respectful and reciprocal communion with the world” (Beer 184). In this way, the ecosceno-dramaturgical process aims to “build a community around the problem” (Pledger 40) to support a community, place-based approach to climate resilience and adaptation. We elaborate how our development of an applied ecosceno-dramaturgy becomes crucial to the investigation of site specificity in this context, as “place” itself is the dramatic provocation, a space of resistance, response, recovery and renewal.

Ecosceno-dramaturgies in Disaster Site-specific Work

It is necessary to contextualize the importance of ecosceno-dramaturgy to the site specificity of Kookaburra Park. Marianne Van Kerkhoven’s discussions in On Dramaturgy note that the role of dramaturgy in creative processes needs to shift in the twenty-first century in order to keep up with the changing contexts of contemporary performing arts. As climate change anxiety escalates in the contemporary consciousness, the process of working in climate change sites enables contemporary theatre-makers to become climate activists, using responsive dramaturgies, as in the project discussed here, as a platform to raise awareness, encourage action and imagine more sustainable futures. Site-specificity provides agency for us as researchers, artists and the community alike, as the location of Kookaburra Park asks us to suspend and transgress prescribed practices of traditional theatre dramaturgies to experience a more transformative encounter between physical place—the site and psychological space—the experience. As Mike Pearson suggests, site-specificity disturbs the spatial relationship between performance and audience.

The confluence of ecosceno-dramaturgies framing the development and implementation of the project is crucial to the investigation of site specificity in this context, as “place” itself holds and resonates the physical and psychological effects of climate change experience. Significantly, place—Kookaburra Park in Rocklea and completely underwater approximately eight metres of water in 2022—is the dramatic provocation, a space for exploring experiences of resistance, response, recovery and renewal for the local community.

These experiences will occur through performance in place that encourages connection and regeneration of community spirit about place. It is within the thematic relationship between the community, the physical place and the psychological space that evokes the ecosceno-dramaturgical confluence specific to this work.

In the context of site-specificity and aligned with our framework, the approaches employed in The Flood Project suggest the actual working process should leave minimal traces on the parkland environment, requiring collaborators to tread lightly in what is already a disrupted environment. Katalin Trencsényi discusses this way of working as:

“invisible” dramaturgy is [a practice that] does not treat the participants of the collaboration in a hierarchical way. Instead, this is a non-hierarchical relationship, characterised by so-called radical tenderness[[1]] towards the collaborators, the community, and the environment.

Steinunn Knúts-Önnudóttir discusses sustainable methods of creating transformative encounters through participatory and site-specific artworks, also advocating for minimal and sustainable frameworks in the site-specific encounter. Knúts-Önnudóttir claims dramaturgical tools create the conditions and provide the triggers for transformation through minimal means and extends Cathy Turner’s discussion about methods of “porosity and embrace” (1–7) as paramount in enabling transformative site-specific experiences.

While Knúts-Önnudóttir suggests these are separate tools, Turner claims the “notion of the ‘porous’ is, like the suggestion of an ‘embrace’: expressive of theatre/performance that creates a space, or spaces for what is beyond itself and is brought to it by an audience” (200). The Flood Project embraces Turner’s and Knúts-Önnudóttir’s notions of porosity by acknowledging that the dramaturgical confluence in this instance is situated in Kookaburra Park, and it considers the site as both the climate-affected space and a community experience of place. As such, Kookaburra Park is both the trigger for the performance text and the container of the performance event. It is anticipated that the porosity of the structure of the event will encompass the audience’s ecoencounter through the park in promenade style, paying attention to the surroundings during the event whilst simultaneously considering the environmental impact of the flood event as narrated in and through site-specific performance. This careful attention to place thereby requires an approach that prioritises the relationships between the human and the non-human—ecosceno-dramaturgies.

The ecosceno-dramaturgical approach to The Flood Project’s performance design advocates for place-based, ecocritical, sustainable and participatory eco-scenograpahic practices that consider the relationship between local and global socio-ecological systems. Importantly, the framework is positioned as an ecocreative practice that emphasises the theatre-maker’s imaginative capacity to place sustainability and climate justice at the core of the artistic vision (Tickle; Beer). The holistic aesthetic itself commemorates what it means to make theatre in a climate-changed world—to “test out, in small ways, the most radical or hopeful version of how a space might operate . . . to try to imagine politics that feel impossible” (Elnile).

Water over the roof of a Rocklea home. Photo: Stephen Rowan (author’s personal image)

Through its multi-scalar ecoengagement with space and place, the ecosceno-dramaturgy draws significantly on Tanja Beer’s ecoscenographic work and directly explores what it means to make theatre and design environments in the context of the climate crisis. This entails acknowledging the “seen” and “unseen” effects of both our ecoencounters and ecoextractions as part of the aesthetic experience. Beer claims designing and working in spaces ecologically involves confronting the uncomfortable truths of a new climate reality—to explore how our work intersects with it across all its layers of complexity and nuance. This approach considers what Beer proposes as the “three Cs” processes that are considered equally critical when working within a climate-conscious framework. These are:

  1. Co-creation: taking a place-based approach to accessing local resources and involving communities, advocating for serendipitous opportunities that promote the borrowing and sharing resources;
  2. Celebration: using the stage as a “platform” (both literally and figuratively) to share sustainability stories and processes;
  3. Circulation: re-distributing theatre materials and ideas beyond the performance season to re-facilitate co-creation. (Beer 101–35)

In considering this framework in relationship to a climate dramaturgical exploration, the work advocates that theatre dramaturgies can respond to eco-emotional experiences of “living through the rapidly accelerating crisis of global climate breakdown” (Svendsen 6). The three Cs approach encourages us as theatre-makers to “reimagine and cultivate stronger”eco-relationshipswith materials, places, communities and ecosystems, and to invest directly in the future (Beer 88) for resilience and recovery of the Rocklea community.

While this framework works across both conventional and expanded contexts of theatre-making, our concept has evolved out of applied theatre and community-engaged knowledge. While Svendsen’s dramaturgy sits within more traditional theatre production processes, ecoscenography ultimately builds on contemporary notions of expanded scenography, where stage design has left the building and begins to intersect with daily life. Here, scenography is a “mode of encounter and exchange founded on spatial and material relations between bodies, objects and environments” (McKinney and Palmer 2). In the afterword of Beer’s Ecoscenography, cultural scenographer Rachel Hann highlights celebration as a key concept for ecoscenography into the future:

To make climate-changed theatre is to celebrate: to celebrate social interaction; to celebrate the deep pasts and deep futures of performance things and architectures; to celebrate the unique moment in history at which these people and materials have come together; to celebrate the release of energy, whether light from a lantern or the movements of the land. The cyclical model of Ecoscenography and, particularly production as celebration, offers a radical renewal on what it means to design events.

qtd. in Beer 191–92

The ecoscenographic principles that inform the ecosceno-dramaturgical framework are crucial to the investigation of site specificity in this context, as “place” itself is the dramatic provocation, a space of resistance, response, recovery and renewal. The framework discussed encourages dramaturgical thinking and practice, wherein the overarching response to the Rocklea flood experience focuses on post-flood recovery and community renewal. The response activates eco-generative process in eco-sensitive ways and the dramaturgy allows creative teams to work with locally available resources—to seek out the potential of place and community while mitigating waste and environmental impact.

Water receding. Fence line around home shows only the top of a 1.8 metre fence. Photo: Stephen Rowan (author’s personal image)
Dramaturgical Confluence as Applied Theatre Research Method

In the previous section, we highlighted the significance of how particular dramaturgical principles (ecoscenographic) evolved out of applied and community processes, and it is fitting here to expand on how the underpinning principles of applied theatre research (ATR) can strengthen the application of ecosceno-dramaturgy. This notion of a multi-perspective dramaturgical framework is an ethically conscious way to narrate stories of community resilience in the face of climate adversity in a specific climate-affected site.

While it is beyond the scope of this paper to fully outline applied theatre as a field, Dani Synder-Young’s definition serves as a useful starting point. She refers to applied theatre as “a wide range of practices in which participatory dramatic activities and/or theatre performances are used for a broad set of purposes including education, community building, rehabilitation, conflict resolution, and advocacy” (4). The ethical considerations informing applied theatre practice are integral, and when working in the field, we acknowledge we need to be aware of the kinds of representations, for example, of a community, that we create in and through in the process.

It is thus crucial that representations about the Rocklea community are respectful and made in collaboration with them and through continuing dialogue with them (Lazaroo 8). In collating the voices of residents, community support networks and first responders, the project aims to document the loss, heartbreak, courage and now, over eighteen months later, the frustrations and resilience of residents rebuilding their lives in a suburb that still shows signs of significant environmental devastation. While the initial response to the floods in Rocklea was helpful, some community members began to experience intense isolation and frustration when interest in the area died down. This response reflects similar community experiences of “forgotten people and forgotten places” impacted by the January to July 2022 floods nationally (Taylor et al. 51). From this perspective, the dramaturgies applied aim to elevate the voices of a community who would not normally have a platform for telling their own stories from their own unique perspectives. As such, ATR in this instance becomes a polyphonic, multi-voiced research approach that reflects and captures the diverse range of experiences a community (Mackey 487).

Council Buy Back. Homes razed as Council buys back affected properties. Photo: Stephen Rowan (author’s personal image)

Applied theatre research intentionally draws upon a bricolage model (Kincheloe, “Describing the Bricolage,” “On to the Next Level”), containing multiple layers of intersections. Specific to The Flood Project, this bodes well for the development and articulation of an applied ecosceno-dramaturgy, which brings together the fundamental aspects of ATR and eco-dramaturgy, climate dramaturgy and ecoscenography. Applied ecosceno-dramaturgy thus incorporates applied theatre research methods that are specific to the social and eco-justice work of this nature. As a framework, it is rooted in the principles of relational aesthetics, where the making of an applied performance is based on and inspired by human relations and their social context with the environment. The site-specificity of the work within this context allows us to investigate how a community can re-engage with place—particularly one affected by a climate experience—and work towards community renewal.

Conclusion

The proposed ecosceno-dramaturgy suggests social and environmental justice aims align with The Flood Project’s artistic pursuits; specifically, how we draw on and explore nature and the natural environment as the non-human protagonist and the overarching aesthetic framework. In departing from hyperrealist trends in climate change theatre, the significance of The Flood Project lies in its exploration of climate change response for regeneration. Renewal is evident in the eco-connectivity supporting real-life testimonies of resilience and relies on early eco-analysis of the community experience and climate catastrophe site itself.

Ecocritics Deidre Heddon and Sally Mackey claim that one response to the multiple challenges of climate change is to more transparently locate the human animal within the (non-human) environment, as one agent amongst many. The ecosceno-dramaturgical framing of The Flood Project responds to this provocation, intertwining the personal, for example, the human actants of exacerbated climate change experience, within an environment that holds and reflects global environmental concerns. Weaving together ecosceno-dramaturgical methods of creative development, design and production with ATR interviewing techniques and verbatim storytelling, we position the dramaturgy within a community-based participatory ATR methodology that in turn sits within a site-specific environment. The site is specific to place but, significantly, also specific to experience of place.

This applied ecosceno-dramaturgical research design may have broader implications in the developing field of arts and climate change. According to Kelly Freebody and Susan Goodwin, ATR embraces a repetition of key discourses—social justice, community, education and participation. The repetition suggests orthodoxy in certain ways of thinking about applied theatre. The confluence of ecosceno-dramaturgies within the ATR process offers possibilities for further development and ongoing consideration of the role of applied theatre for environmental awareness and sustainability. Trencsényi asks us to question our role through the lens of what she terms as “catastrophe tourist” and to seriously consider if we are “facilitating a public discourse on issues that are important for the community?”

The ecosceno-dramaturgy methods used in this project are key to creating this communal space for Rocklea and community residents to amplify their voices, reflect on their post-disaster experiences and cultivate hope, agency and a sense of belonging. In terms of broader climate activism and the arts, The Flood Project acknowledges Carlie Trott’s research which argues for the transformative potential of everyday activism in the face of the global sustainability crisis. The (inter)subjective and experiential dimensions of the oral accounts of the community will provide a rich source for “situating and interrogating environmental practices, meanings, and power relations” (Williams and Riley 207) in the community and, consequently, in the broader national context of climate disaster experience. In facilitating renewal through collating environmental accounts of the Brisbane community, the dramatising of the stories in the site of experience provides a means of expanding the participatory and grassroots engagement of environmental history in the community.


Endnote

[1] The Radical Tenderness Manifesto (2015) is an embodied poetic exercise of resistance where we dive into this seemingly oxy-moronic term asking ourselves:”how can radical be tender—and tenderness be radical—in our alliances, our communities, and our interpersonal relationships?” developed by La Pocha Nostra (LPN) established by the Mexican-American artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña. 

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Photo: Griffith University

*Dr Linda Hassall is an award-winning playwright, and co-director of the Performance + Ecology Research Lab (P+ERL) at Griffith University, Australia. Her research focuses on devising and producing contemporary performance, exploring the relationship between theatre and climate change. She further explores sustainable production technologies in response to theatre’s carbon footprint. 

Photo: Dylan Lopez

**Dr Tanja Beer is co-director of the Performance + Ecology Research Lab (P+ERL) at Griffith University, Australia. Her extensive career as an ecological designer, community artist and researcher builds on over 20 years of theatre practice. Tanja’s pioneering concept, Ecoscenography, has been featured in programs, exhibitions, articles and platforms internationally. 

Photo: Griffith University

***Dr Saffron Benner is a dramaturg with over twenty years’ experience. Previous roles include Resident Dramaturg for La Boite’s Actor’s Company; Executive Director of Playlab; and the National Arts Education Editor. Saffron has extensive experience in teaching, research, and administration, and she is currently the Sustainable Development Goals Manager for Griffith University. 

Photo: Griffith University

****Dr Natalie Lazaroo is a Lecturer in Education at Griffith University. Her research focuses on the intersections of arts and citizenship. Natalie is co-director of the Performance + Ecology Research Lab (P+ERL), and a member of the Griffith Institute for Educational Research and Griffith University’s Creative Arts Research Institute.

Copyright © 2023 Linda Hassall, Tanja Beer, Saffron Benner and Natalie Lazaroo
Critical Stages/Scènes critiques e-ISSN:2409-7411

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