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a black banner with large grey bold text saying impact. the tagline below says 'the whole world in your hands' and small circles showing rising sea levels, pollution and drought are placed above like bubbles.

In October 2021, we developed 'IMPACT' for the Climate Change Theatre Action festival 2021.

 

The show was developed from a database of climate-change plays written by playwrights from across the globe, and devised as a bedtime story for our future children.

 

IMPACT brought together individuals and organisations from across Lancashire and Merseyside to produce a fully compostable set, within which we told a story of hope, difficult choices, and a penguin suffering from climate denial.

 

The production was one of hundreds of shows that took place around the world, this time focusing on 'A Green New Deal' - using theatre and performance to explore climate fear, and the undeniable hope that time is still on our side should we come together to make it so. 

five performers in kombuchas lie in a circle looking up at the camera

check out our process!

 

'impact: the process documentary' shot by our media manager Chrissie Handley, filmed over the course of 'impact's creation.

 

this short video looks at how we crafted a sustainable show and offers our tips on how to do the same. more detail on our methods below!

costume and set

three home made kombucha masks

our costumes were sourced second hand from local charity shops and our masks made from dried kombucha scoby - a fully compostable natural by-product of kombucha tea brewing - sourced from our friends at the healthy gut company

 

we wanted to create a performance environment which transported audience members into our very own indoor eco-system, so we used 800 litres of donated waste soil, bark, plant matter and tree stumps to do just that! audience members interacted with the set, feeling the soil and getting familiar with the space

 

georgie cunningham and daniel vernon tie up a tree branch to the entrance of the performance space

All of our set was able to be re-donated, composted or repurposed, completing the cycle of community sharing and building to dismantle.

 

rehearsal methods

 artistic Director daniel vernon on creating 'impact':

 

"When thinking over the initial concept of impact, it felt as if it had to be crafted through the use of mask. To us, working in this way felt the right voice to to embody what we wanted to say, and develop the kind of relationship we were after with our audience.

 

To tell the stories offered to us through the cop26 texts, the image of of a free flowing group of distinct personalities telling the stories, watching them, and changing the world around them instantly came to me.

 

Through impacting the world around them, our characters established a constantly evolving performance space to take the audience on the journey with us. We felt it important that this journey represented our progression as a species- from primitive and tribal to industrial and polarising. The materials and methods we chose to alter the space evolved from purely natural materials to more man made and synthetic.

director daniel vernon explains an acting workshop to three masked actors
company director georgie cunningham stood on a box of soil with a shovel in her hand
five actors lay in a soil covered stage surrounding a pond

We sourced our materials from communities across the north west, including: ormskirk scouts, burscough community farm and generous locals on facebook (thank you!) bringing together all of these people into one big community of hope and eco-celebration

 

The heart of our ambitious goal led us attempt to grapple with the scope of the different kinds of personalities that people could turn out to be. I think our use of mask and archetype allowed us to portray a much greater cross-section of types of people than we would have without.

 

Working and creating through mask allowed us the freedom to dive into our characters’ archetypes with without the limitations of our self-perception. When an actor was in the flow of mask it was a total embodiment of character. Each mask an actor took on was firmly rooted in careful consideration archetypes; we wanted each personality to be infinitely recognisable to the audience. Each simple but thorough - base archetypes of child, hero, crone, or devil were the foundations for each character to spring from when later un-masked."

5 performers hug in celebration

climate change theatre action

climate change theatre action (ccta) is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented biennially to coincide with the United Nations COP meetings.

Every other year, 50 professional playwrights, representing all inhabited continents as well as several cultures and Indigenous nations, are commissioned to write five-minute plays about an aspect of the climate crisis based on a prompt.

 

This collection of plays is then available to producing collaborators to host events, using theatre to bring communities together, and take local and global action on climate.

2021 was the year of the 'green new deal', with the plays commissioned following this theme.

 

a penguin toy plush wearing a home made daisy chain sat on a log

'impact' takes extracts from the following ccta plays:

- the penguin by nicholas billon

- Dream/Remember by Hanna Cormick

- Initiation by Angella Emurwon

- Love Out of the Ruins by Zoë Svendsen

- Not Because We're Good by Chris Thorpe

- Bedtime Story for My (future) Daughter by Caity-Shea Violette

want to get involved? check out ccta here

climate change theatre action 2021 logo