Zoë Svendsen to act as Climate Dramaturg for Donmar Warehouse

Following the announcement of the return of their digital production ASSEMBLY to mark COP26, and 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.

Svendsen 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?”

Svendsen is an associate artist at the Donmar Warehouse and a director, dramaturg and researcher. As artistic director of METIS Zoe creates research-led interdisciplinary performance projects exploring contemporary political subjects, including Love Letters to a Liveable Future (Season for Change/Cambridge Junction), Factory of the Future (Oslo Architecture Triennale), WE KNOW NOT WHAT WE MAY BE (Barbican Pit), World Factory (New Wolsey Theatre/ Young Vic), 3rd Ring Out - TippingPoint Commission Award. As dramaturg she has worked with Shakespeare’s Globe, Young Vic, the National Theatre and the RSC. Svendsen lectures in Drama and Performance at the University of Cambridge. 

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