The Environment in Performance
DOI link for The Environment in Performance
The Environment in Performance book
Stage invasions are usually defined as unexpected crossings of the fourth wall in which human bodies or thrown objects encroach upon the stage in the name of protest. A ‘deus ex machina’ is conventionally defined as a piece of creative engineering (commonly known as a plot device) designed to produce an exogenously driven change in the course of the action in staged events. In this chapter, the environment appears as an active presence in both modes. In Stan’s Cafe’s Home of the Wriggler, the environment is projected onto the stage by the scenography described in the opening paragraphs. Theatrical alchemy in the overall ecosystem of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) ‘shipwreck plays’ prompted a fossil fuel-driven crossing of the fourth wall by an eco-campaigning theatre company that began in the audience and propelled the environmental shapeshifter into the spotlight in the guise of human protesters. In this and several of the examples discussed in this chapter, environmental stage invasions and dei ex machini are often nothing less than fossil fuel energy and its ghost.