Invigoratingly honest and surprisingly funny, this bold new work tackles the climate conversation in the present while launching audiences into future possibilities. Packed with info, humanity and truth, Scenes From the Climate Era moves at a cracking pace through sixty-five short scenes – comic, tragic, and everything in between.
This is theatre doing what is was made to do. An invigoratingly honest portrayal of what it’s like to engage with climate change conversations (and be alive!) right this second.
Life, love, and making money, as things heat up.
Massive artificial reefs. Mirror clouds. Zombie mice.
Beaches where once there were none.
Travelling the world when aeroplanes are gone.
How we deal with big, breathtaking ideas – and the crazy excitement of living in hope.
It’s sixty-five short scenes – comic, tragic, and everything in between.
Jam-packed with info, humanity and truth, but never wagging its finger in your face, Scenes From the Climate Era is a play about now. About the choices we made yesterday, and the difficult beauty of tomorrow.
“We read this and simply had to do it, we haven’t had a script that’s generated quite as much energy as this one. David is a climate expert as well as a playwright, and the sheer dramatic impact of his expertise is thrilling, frightening, invigorating. It’s not a play that wags its finger, it’s terrifically smart and human. If you’re looking for something about the big issues of this era, here’s a piece of theatre for you.” – Eamon
In addition to this being a play for our times, what’s
exciting for Arts on Tour about this work is Belvoir's focus in the development and pre-production process on
minimising emissions in the creation and presentation of this work. AOT will continue this
commitment in tour planning and we’re keen to work with presenters on minimising the emissions of its presentation in your venue.
Raw, vulnerable and utterly engaging
From the first read, the ambition of the work was clear - here was a play grappling not only with the major challenge of our times, but with how the hell do you even begin to do that through theatrical form. In our current cultural landscape, theatre still mostly favours the single, linear story, the contained timeline, and the hyper-naturalistic setting – features that do not neatly lend themselves to tackling an issue of such colossal scope.
But in Scenes, David comes at the issue via post-drama, via montage – his approach is kaleidoscopic. The collection of scenes he’s written each spin the glass to give us a different angle on the climate era, and each one sparks our minds in a new way. Far from the didacticism one might expect from a play about climate change, the scenes form a conversation across the play, complementing, contradicting, and compounding on one another.
And it’s in the accumulative power of these scenes that David’s play makes what I believe is its central and most significant offering. The play begins by meeting most of us where we’re at – thinking of climate change as something that we’ll either more or less solve, or will drive us into apocalypse - and then, scene-by-scene, offers us a way to move beyond this binary, towards something more complex and therefore truer, taking us through dread and horror and fascination and beauty and laughter in equal measure. It offers us a new way of seeing, and therefore coping, and therefore living.
The task for the creative team was an exciting one – the montage form required the design team to create a context in which the scenes would be played out, and thus carry much of the ultimate meaning of the work; and it required us to shape a satisfying journey through the play while embracing its multiplicity. Over several months leading up to rehearsals, David, myself and dramaturg Vaishnavi Suryaprakash worked carefully to refine the scenes and curate what we hoped would be a satisfying shape for the work. At the same time, set and lighting designer Nick Schlieper, and costume designer Ella Butler, Charles Wu, and Harriet Gordon-Anderson and I worked to create a theatrical language that was economical but eloquent, giving us the dexterity to move from one scene to another in an instant, and allowing us to always foreground the dramatic situation. We also sought to realise an environment onstage in which the actors were not fully in control – one that evolved over the course of the production – and one that, we hoped, could allow an audience to sit inside the heart of David’s thesis.
Despite how harrowing some of the content is, I have never laughed more in a rehearsal room. You couldn’t ask for a more vibrant, energetic, and committed team than the one who has created this work. It’s been a pleasure to make this show, and we hope that it galvanises, enthrals, and entertains you as much as it has us.
If you are interested in touring get in contact!
Arts on Tour
02 8038 1880
Arts on Tour is based in Redfern NSW and we respectfully acknowledge the Gadigal people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the unceded land on which we work.
As we tour artists and productions across these vast lands, we pay our respect to all First Nations Elders, past, present and future.
We celebrate their continuing connection and contribution to culture, country and community, and thank all First Nations peoples for their wisdom in caring for the land, the sky, the rivers and the sea.