Theatre for a Changing Climate (DRA3092)

StaffDr Evelyn O'Malley - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to give you an increased awareness and understanding of the diverse theatre and performance practices that have emerged in response to climate-change. Additionally, it seeks to enable and develop your ability to debate and critically analyse the issues surrounding climate change and representation, situating your discussions within wider interdisciplinary debates.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge and critical appreciation of a range of twenty-first-century plays and performances addressing contemporary issues concerning anthropogenic climate-change.
  • 2. Analyse and synthesize information from performance sources and playtexts, critical and theoretical reading to generate written and oral argument
  • 3. Demonstrate independent creative and critical approaches to analysing and imagining theatre and performance about which scholarly work is emergent.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Work effectively with others in research-orientated presentation groups and to initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits.
  • 5. Demonstrate the advanced ability to utilise research tools by applying a wide range of library and IT skills in detailed independent research.
  • 6. Demonstrate the ability to engage critically and analytically from different theoretical perspectives, and to develop arguments in presentation and written tasks.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Develop advanced personal research skills using personal initiative; to set personal objectives that are linked to a sense of challenge and extending boundaries and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies that are self-critical as much as self-reflective.
  • 8. Develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback and to improve communication skills and advanced analytic abilities in discussions.
  • 9. Develop advanced confidence in written presentation of researched material for a variety of audiences.

Syllabus plan

Each week’s activity will be themed around a particular play or performance and a theoretical question. Reading will be assigned in advance of the seminars.

Seminars will include both tutor-led discussion and student-led activities. You will participate in presentations, undertake practical staging explorations and envision your own creative work as part of your learning.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled teaching and learning activities33Seminars (tutor led). You will need to prepare thoroughly for seminars by reading playtexts, critical and theoretical material, watching and listening to audio and visual sources, preparing for presentations and undertaking practical tasks.
Guided independent study267Research, playgroup readings, independent reading, undertaking practical tasks and preparing for seminars.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation (group)15 minutes1-6, 8-9Oral feedback in seminar
Essay plan500 words1-3, 5-7, 9Peer feedback in session and tutor feedback in individual tutorial

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio (four extracts selected from weekly blog)453000 words1-3, 5-7, 9Written
Essay453000 words1-3, 5-7, 9Written
Continuous Assessment 10Ongoing1-4, 6-9Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio (four extracts selected from weekly blog)Portfolio (four extracts selected from weekly writing tasks)1-3, 5-7, 9Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay1-3, 5-7, 9Referral/Deferral period
Continuous assessment Repeat study/mitigation1-4, 6-9N/a

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Angelacki, V. (2019) Theatre & Environment, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Allen, J., Bottoms, S. and Preece, B. (2015) Performing Ecos. Performing Ethos: An International Journal of Ethics in Theatre and Performance.
  • Arons, W. and T. J. May (eds) (2012) Readings in Performance and Ecology, Palgrave: Basingstoke and New York.
  • Besel, R. D. and J. A. Blau, (eds) (2014) Performance on Behalf of the Environment. Lanham: Lexington Books.
  • Bottoms, S., A. Franks, and P. Kramer (eds) (2012) “On Ecology.”   Performance Research 17 (4): 1-4.
  • Chaudhuri, (2015) “Anthropo-Scenes: Theater and Climate Change.” JDCE3(1), 12-27.
  • Chaudhuri, U., & Enelow, S. (2014). Research Theatre, Climate Change, and the Ecocide Project. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave.
  • Chaudhuri, U. and Fuchs, E. (eds.) (2002) Land/Scape/Theater. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 
  • Chan, P. (ed.) (2010) Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: A Field Guide, New York: Creative Time.
  • Cless, D. (2010) Ecology and Environment in European Drama. New York, London: Routledge. 
  • Däwes, B. and Maufort, M. (eds.) (2014) Enacting Nature: Ecocritical Perspectives on Indigenous Performance. Peter Lang. 
  • Fensham, Rachel, Eddie Paterson and Paul Rae (eds.) (2018) “On Climates.” PerformanceResearch 23 (3).
  • Heddon, D. and Mackey, S. (eds.) (2012) “Environmentalism, performance and applications: uncertainties and emancipations.” Research in Drama Education17 (12), 163–192.
  • Hudson, J. (2019) The Environment on Stage: Scenery or Shapeshifter. New York: Routledge.
  • Lavery, C. (2016) Introduction: performance and ecology – what can theatre do? Green Letters, 20 (3), 229-23.
  • Margolies, E. and Heim, W. (2014) Landing Stages. London: The Ashden Directory.
  • May, T. J. (2017) “Tú eres mi otro yo—Staying with the trouble: Ecodramaturgy & the anthropoScene.” The Journal of American Drama and Theatre,29(2), 1–18.


This is an indicative list.

  • Adebayo, M. (2011) Plays: One, London: Oberon Books.
  • Bartlett, M. (2010) Earthquakes in London, London: Methuen.
  • Bean, R. (2011) The Heretic, London: Oberon Books.
  • Bilodeau, C. (2015) Sila, Vancouver: Talon Books.
  • Buffini, M, Charman, M., Skinner, P. and Thorne, J. (2011) Greenland, London: Faber and Faber.
  • Cowhig, F. (2017) Snow in Midsummer, London: Methuen.
  • Hickson, E. (2016) Oil, London: Methuen.
  • Kirkwood, L. (2017) The Children. London, Nick Hern Books.
  • Malpede, K. (2017) Plays in Time: The Beekeeper's Daughter, Prophecy, Another Life, Extreme Whether, Bristol: Intellect.
  • McMillan, D. (2011) Lungs, London: Oberon Books.
  • Ronder, T. (2015) F*ck the Polar Bears, London: Nick Hern Books.
  • Steel, B. (2010) Ditch, London: Methuen.  
  • Waters, S. (2009) The Contingency Plan, London: Nick Hern Books.  

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Key words search

Theatre, Performance, Climate, Ecology, Nature