Life has gotten strange, hasn’t it? It sounds like everything everyone has probably ever said about this time—and maybe what you have said as well—because it’s a true fact: life as we know it will likely never be the same and, at this rate, should never be the same. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed what was already inherently not working in our society, and that also goes for the continuous work to mitigate the effects of climate change.
With this realization that we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to a mild resurgence of ecofascist thoughts. Reading and hearing “The world has stopped/animals are coming back out and returning to the canals of Venice/humans were the virus all along” are not productive ways to acknowledge and begin working to eliminate climate change, an issue which is further exacerbated by misinformation in the public health knowledge. What we can say, however, is that the response the world has had to the COVID-19 pandemic should be somewhat replicated in the way we respond to climate change, and that needs to continue long after the pandemic is over. (By the way, it is not.)
In November and December 2019, some scripts co-sponsored two Climate Change Theatre Action events, in Shanghai and Nanjing, China. Both events proved interesting in their own ways. While in Shanghai the post-show discussion was debating whether Shanghai’s new garbage/recycling-sorting program did anything worthwhile, in Nanjing the focus of discussion became about who was ultimately responsible for the continuing spike in global emissions: are individuals or are corporations most at fault? In addition, there was an added element about the types of people involved in activist theatre like Climate Change Theatre Action. In the context of the events being held in China, the question was asked about the content of the pieces (primarily performed in English) versus the types of participation desired (ideally, more Chinese theatre artists should have been involved, and access should be more readily available in Chinese as much as it was in English). These are necessary introductory points of discussion in the climate discussion regarding collaboration.
However, I don’t want to provide any false expectations or influence of what you will read in some scripts Issue 3: “The Era of Climate Change.” What you should know reading on is that each piece–for the stage–is inspired by or responding to climate change and environmental issues. When the theaters open again, these scripts are some of the necessary stories to tell and lift up. Each piece speaks to humanity and the decision to act or not act. And sadly, we must still act now, even during COVID-19.
Stay healthy, safe, and at home,
some scripts Founder & Editor-in-Chief