We’re on the last run of a show that’s been around for two years. But tonight, its performer can’t go on stage. In her place, the dramaturg – in her 30s, afraid of death- addresses the audience and tries to resolve this tricky situation. “I’m just going to try to tell you a few stories tonight, about some things I have been thinking about and researching in private. So that none of us has to be unbearably lonely tonight.” Based on an original concept developed by British director Katie Mitchell for Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, and written by author Miranda Rose Hall, A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction is the first of two chapters in the Sustainable Theatre?-project, in which thirteen theatres in Europe and Asia reflect together on ways to make theater more sustainable. The play, a courageous reflection on theatre and life facing climate disaster, is handed over from Katie Mitchell to other artists with nothing more than a series of instructions. For example, the entire staging process, in a radical approach, must be sustainable. Therefore, the required power of the performance will be produced live with the use of electricity-generating bikes. Thus making the tour, and its huge environmental impact, disappear. In its place, a cycle of transmissions is triggered. From one artist to another.
Directed by Martha Balthazar
Written by Miranda Rose Hall
2022, NTGent, Belgium
This production is presented thanks to European Theatre Convention as part of the STAGES PROJECT

STAGES (Sustainable Theatre Alliance for a Green Environmental Shift) is an ambitious theatre experiment aiming to challenge how the cultural sector interacts with the concept of sustainability.14 influential theatre organizations, including a leading European theatre network, a theatre partner from Asia, and partners in academia, have joined together with director Katie Mitchell and choreographer Jérôme Bel – two artists that are renowned for embedding sustainability in their work – to test radical solutions to the biggest challenges posed by the climate crisis.IOTF worked with the European Theater Convention to bring to online audiences five STAGES productions from theaters around the world of Miranda Rose Hall’s A Play for the Living in A Time of Extinction (2020). First staged within this project by the British director Katie Mitchell at Théâtre Vidy Lausanne in Switzerland, this play is a purposeful eco-feminist monologue by Miranda Rose Hall that reflects on our responsibilities and means of action in the face of ecological disaster. The production has been taken on as an experiment in sustainable touring by theaters in Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Denmark, and Taiwan. A supercut video includes clips from all productions and further lays out the stakes of the project. A panel discussion between key members from the various theaters explores the fascinating premises and concepts of the project around the issues of sustainability, touring, and what the theater can do in the midst of a climate crisis.


ALSO WATCH PANEL – STAGES: Sustainable Theatre Experiments  

The panel discusses the STAGES project as a model of sustainable practices within the theater. The panelists reflect on creative processes, experiments in staging and working practices, and engagements with local institutions and audiences. They interrogate the meaning of “sustainability” within the theater, the nature of the collaboration between artists and scientists, and the potential visions for the future role of theater in the context of the climate crisis.

Hosted by Ilinca Todorut, Executive Director of IOTF, Faculty of Theater and Film within Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania


Anica Tomić, Theater Director associated with the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Croatia

Serge Rangoni, Artistic Director and General Manager of Théâtre de Liège, Belgium

Gin Huang, Producer at National Theater and Concert Hall, Taipei, Taiwan

Tristan Pannatier, Producer at Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, Switzerland

Eugenio Morello, Associate Professor in Urban Planning and Design at Politecnico di Milano, Italy

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.

This post was written by Directed by Martha Balthazar, Written by Miranda Rose Hall, NTGent (2022), Belgium.

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