Ecology is Collaboration: A conversation with Theresa May & Larry Fried (part II)

“We’ve really moved into a process of doing theater and making theater that’s much more collaborative and interdisciplinary, communal and multi-authored,” explained Theresa May while we chatted about the future of green theater. May believes, and I think rightfully so, that as theater grows into a more authentically collaborative form, rather than being so only in concept, it continues to dethrone the idea that she refers to as “the myth of the individual,” so propogated by the historical notion of one leading artist driving the creation.

And it doesn’t hurt that the planet’s ecological nightmare has become part of pop culture, with global warming (or the more politically acceptable “climate change”) now resting on the tongues of “ordinary people in Walmart.” “That there is something in the lexicon now that was an elite phrase only months ago,” says May, “that opens a space for new conversations, for new innovations, for new experimentations, for new rhetoric and grant writing.”

It also opens a space for a new way of approaching theater education and training. In my recent talks with various folks, and especially with May and Fried, it has grown increasingly apparent that without a serious shift in academic approaches to theater, professional theater will never fully realize sustainability.


2 Responses to “Ecology is Collaboration: A conversation with Theresa May & Larry Fried (part II)”

  1. May 7, 2008 at 10:48 am

    thanks for the great article/interview! Theresa May is definitely my hero as well–I´m hoping to attend U of O the upcoming year to work with her. I agree, our academic AND practical approaches to theatre MUST change, and we´ll create better theatre out of it as well! thanks so much for writing this blog; i´m definitely going to keep up with it from now on!


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what’s in a color?

"It should be about different kinds of symbols than the color green—wind farms, solar, renewable-energy laboratories, those things that are symbolic of the new energy economy. People think that we overuse the concept of green, and it could become trite in its expression.”
“This idea about green in a lot of people’s minds still conjures up this notion of a fringe or something that’s out-there. It doesn’t inspire this notion of a new America. It just seems more substantive than a color.” - Colorado governor Bill Ritter, Jr. in The New Yorker
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