How do we to restore the land and ecosystem to support life in a changing climate? How do we design a new kind of living stage? A space responsive and responsible to living systems. How can the stories of non-human species bring about a new relationship with human inhabitants? How can we seed creation that contributes to food security, hilarity, audacity, permaculture, enjoyment, embodied learning, community vivacity and hope? How might theatre be an inspiration for potential of damaged land, and act as a lifeboat for the spirit?
Long ago, a theatre teacher told me that the only real contribution I would ever make to the earth was the nutrients of my decomposing body. I have always wondered if there is a way to create work that gives back in a concrete way, work that centres ecological restoration. We are inspired, for example, by the underwater sculptures of Jason DeCaries Taylor. The humans depicted in his scultptures become coral reefs, which are stunning metaphors in and of themselves. But also, these underwater sculpture gardens also attract tourists away from the fragile coral reefs nearby and contribute to ecosystem health in the area.
This season we embark on theatrical research into ecological restoration. We intend to work onsite in the Anthropocene, our current geological epoch marked by planetary and climate changes driven by one species: humanity.
We imagine a new Ecozoic Era, where, instead of a culture that is resource-extractive, we would move into an age in which humans would recover their creative orientation to the world. As creatives, it is our work to way-find into this new world.
What does it mean to centre other stories beyond human ones? What is a play with a protagonist who is a landscape? What are the narratives of a deer trail? How to do we tell those stories?
Eco-Restorative Theatre has at its heart a fierce belief in the future and an embedded ethos that Human Nature is Nature itself.
The Only Animal has always been an innovator, and we know within the conversation of theatre makers that people are looking for right action. We know that your theatre practice might look very different than this Animal’s, but the key questions might be the same. We are all artists of the Anthropocene. The transition between a Culture of Consumerism and a Culture of Stewardship is the work of our times. We are the culture makers. This is our shared work.
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