With Love and Other Acts of Violence currently running at the Donmar Warehouse, Artistic Director Michael Longhurst and Executive Director Henny Finch, today announce the re-release of the company’s first Donmar Local production, Nina Segal’s ASSEMBLY, an innovative digital performance that looks at the climate crisis and how to build a better future.
First broadcast live via YouTube from the Donmar Warehouse and locations across the UK during lockdown in March 2021, the recorded digital production will be available on Donmar Warehouse’s YouTube channel from 31 October – 12 November to mark COP26.
Continuing the company’s commitment to exploring the climate emergency, Donmar Associate Zoë Svendsen is acting as Climate Dramaturg and undertaking an 18 month collaborative action research project – Climate Conversations – bringing together artists and producers to reframe the conversation around the climate crisis and the process of making theatre. Whilst the theatre industry must urgently reduce its carbon footprint, the project seeks to bust the myth that sustainability is only about doing or using ‘less’. The project aims to find ways for great art to pursue climate conscious ethics and still flourish. During this project Svendsen will work with representatives across the Donmar Warehouse’s workforce and productions, running workshops that explore new, climate conscious working practices. She will also host a series of live talks and podcasts, to open up the conversation with audiences. The project culminates with a wider industry sharing of her findings.
Clare Slater, Head of New Work, said today, “We’re delighted to be undertaking this important work with Zoë. At the Donmar, we want to make thrilling and resource-conscious theatre. And we want to do so with care for the people who make it and see it, and for the planet. With Zoe’s significant track record in climate dramaturgy, this research project should help us find change points in the theatre-making process that will help us achieve these goals. We really look forward to sharing what we learn. This is what theatre can do: bring about change by rehearsing it first.
“As part of our commitment to this urgent moment, we’re also proud to re-release our digital production, ASSEMBLY, to coincide with COP26. Nina Segal’s provocative play, made in lockdown with members of our local community, invites you to play your part in this chapter of change.”
Zoë Svendsen also commented, “Climate Conversations takes the climate crisis not just as a ‘topic’, but explores it as the context of everything we do – in theatre and in our lives. Through the project we will be examining what stories we tell, who for and how. How can facing these challenges sharpen our ingenuity and rigour as artists, as we grapple with the most urgent questions of our time. In an era of extreme jeopardy, where the very future of people across the globe is at stake, we will be asking, who are we? How do we need to change for the planet to survive? And who might we become?”