The Ten Steps of Climate Dramaturgy for all Theatre-Makers

We’ve developed these 10 Steps as a way of framing the artistic mindset all theatre-makers can adopt and deploy when making a show.

These steps were based on by research conducted by our Artistic Associate, Zoë Svendsen, when working with Clare, our Artistic Director, at the Donmar Warehouse in London.  

The 10 Steps of Climate Dramaturgy:

1. Pay attention to all your choices and question the ‘normal’.

2. Actively make climate-positive and carbon reducing choices in your theatre-making.

3. See these positive choices – this Climate Dramaturgy – as an ever-evolving artistic practice and know that it helps you to make more interrogated – and so more creative and more inspirational – theatre.

4. Recognise that everyone in the theatre-making process can enact Climate Dramaturgy and make climate-positive choices. This includes all your artistic collaborators, technicians, production staff members, producers, administrators and audience members.

5. Enable everyone in the process to contribute by using the Three Elements of Climate Dramaturgyexpectation, facilitation and permission.

6. Acknowledge that every choice you make might not be perfect, but trying is better than not trying.

7. Embed this artistic practice in every creative conversation, even when you feel like you’re repeating yourself. It takes a long time to break old habits and start new ones. Keep talking; keep paying attention, keep trying.

8. Talk about climate-positive choices from the very beginning of a project. The impacts are far greater if you name your artistic aspirations from the start.

9. Take time to reflect on your choices at the end of a project, pass on what you learned.

10. Advocate for climate-positive action in your next production. All theatre-makers can be powerful voices of climate-positive change.

We have found that if we use the principles of Climate Dramaturgy, from the very beginning of every project, then it gives the green light to the practical framework of the excellent Theatre Green Book when it comes to actually realising the show and reducing carbon emissions.