- 8 January 2021
- 12:00 – 1:00 pm
- Online Event
Theatre set designs are bespoke, conglomerated, sculptural constructions that are difficult to reuse. They can become waste material ending in landfill or incineration plants. This paper looks at how theatre can become more environmentally sustainable, particularly in the consideration of how theatre can move towards a circular economy. The paper considers this pragmatic issue from a multi-disciplinary perspective and through a practice of playwriting. Moving the theatre industry towards a circular economy is a complex shift to do with issues such as intellectual property, storage, ephemerality, and aesthetic expectation. This complexity suggests a need to redesign the system of theatre or the creation of a new form of theatre.
The paper questions whether the play-script can play a role in this. Playwriting exists at the inception of conventional forms of theatre and so it poses a conceptual opportunity to consider the ethical meaning of what form and function of theatre is produced, and whether that meaning is incongruous with the themes or positions within the drama. This extends the narrative vision on the page to include the material construction on the stage, and characterises theatre as a ‘total art’ encapsulating both the stage and backstage. Literary studies have documented play-scripts in the context of the history of literary movements but there is limited research that connects the form, context, and design of a play-script as a practice to induce performance. Dallas J. Baker identifies that ‘scholars of writing for performance have tended to focus on live performance, using scripts merely as reference points’ rather than ‘writing as a distinct creative and research practice,’. The paper will look at examples of different playwriting and creative writing practices and question if they have an impact on the type of theatre that is produced. By considering the linguistic, literary, and poetic aspects of the play-script and relating them to the contrasting issues of technical, pragmatic, and material construction, it will be suggested that sustainable theatre must communicate not only through what it stages but also the way in which it stages performance.
Guidelines for users attending Zoom webinars
Before the webinar
● Please download Zoom software in advance.
● Please register to attend the Research Lunch webinar through Eventbrite.
● We will share the link to the Zoom webinar with you in advance by email through Eventbrite.
● If you require closed captioning during this event, please get in touch at least two weeks before the event date.
During the event
● Paul Mellon Centre staff hosting the event will employ the appropriate security features to help ensure that events and meetings operate safely.
● There will be a waiting room feature that allows the host to control when all participants join the meeting.
● You will be automatically muted when you join the webinar and can only communicate verbally if the host unmutes you.
● The talk will last for 30–40 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A where the chair will prompt discussion.
● Use the Q&A box to ask/write your questions after the talk.
● You can also use the virtual raise hand button if you have a question/comment to make by audio.
● Use the chat box to make comments.
● If you are experiencing any technical problems, please notify Ella Fleming (events manager) or Danielle Convey (events assistant) directly using the chat box function. Alternatively you can email them via firstname.lastname@example.org.
● The Paul Mellon Centre will not take photographs of this event and participants are requested likewise not to do so.
● This session will be recorded, but no photos should be taken.
● Any offensive behaviour will not be tolerated and attendees can be removed from the webinar by the host.
The Paul Mellon Centre is aware of its obligations under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and is committed to processing your data securely and transparently.
For more information on Zoom’s compliance with EU GDPR see: https://zoom.us/gdpr.
Image: Set of play-script experiments (2019) written and illustrated by Hamish Muir
About the speaker
Hamish is a PhD researcher investigating sustainable and ecological theatre at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Hamish’s research focuses on playwriting and waste – particularly the role of the script in its relationship with the production of sustainable theatre and how waste can be used to question assumptions of theatre practices, aesthetics and meaning. His background is in civil and environmental engineering at Imperial College and art history at Christie’s Education, associated with the University of Glasgow. Hamish has worked at several museums and auction houses in London and Edinburgh. He is also an independent artist, playwright and sustainability consultant. In 2017, Hamish established the production studio Arctic Lion, which creates sustainable, experimental performance (https://www.arcticlionart.co.uk).
22 Jan 2021
Foto Studio Bluefields: Photography and Political Life on the Nicaraguan Caribbean
29 Jan 2021
Accommodating the Picturesque: The Country Houses of James Wyatt, John Nash and Sir John Soane, 1793–1815
05 Feb 2021
Bankside, Britain, Global, Public; the Turbine Hall Series in Tate Modern
19 Feb 2021
Disorienting the Gaze: Ngozi Onwurah’s Early Films