DOI link for Introduction
This book explores theatrical paradigms for real-world challenges of calling a halt to anthropogenic environmental destruction. The Introduction opens with a spectator’s experience of live theatre, as a springboard for the discussion that follows, setting a pattern for the book. Lived experiences of immersive productions in conventional theatre spaces reshaped to convey a sense of site specificity for their audiences open this and the next chapter, thereby hinting at later discussions of site-specific, environmental and ecological theatre. Both experiences, Dormandy’s Arcola (2014) Waiting for Godot and Frankcom’s (2015) Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester The Skriker, were runaway warming systems in the sense applied throughout the book: ecotheatrical performances that succeeded in provoking strong reactions from their audiences. In such ecotheatrical productions, performances and installations, the environment often speaks for itself. How this happens depends on the mode of ecoconsciousness in force at the time: conscious ecoconsciousness, ecoconscious unconsciousness or unconscious ecoconsciousness. This Introduction briefly explains how ecosystemic, ecological and ecotheatrical ideas in the works of writers such as Morton, Meadows, Haraway, Bennett, and Kershaw shaped the ecological mode of spectatorship applied to the wide range of productions, performances and installations explored in this book.