The Last Hurrah: exploring climate change through theatre. In this project, actors and geographers unite to explore ways to bring the experience of living through climate change to theatre audiences.
Climate change impacts different communities unequally, and presents particular challenges to societies that are dependent on seasonal variations in nature for their cultural or subsistence activities. Many communities at high risk of adverse impact are geographically remote from major population centres, and there is a concern that this physical distance can translate to a psychological distance. This project explores the power of theatre to diminish that psychological distance.
"The Last Hurrah is a daring and innovative play exploring the lived experience of climate change."Rosa Thomas, reviewing for Daily Info
Read the full review.
Developing the project included the following activities, bringing together Bath Spa students and geographers:
- Discussions with acting students about the impacts of climate change, especially among coastal communities at high latitudes, lead by geography staff and students.
- Actor-led development of a short piece of theatre, ‘The Last Hurrah (and the Long Haul)’ based on the experiences of a maritime subsistence economy in the face of shifting seasons.
- Law, M, Corbin, S, Wilkins, M, Harris, V, Martin, G and Lowe, R (2020) 'The Last Hurrah (and The Long Haul): co-creation of theatre as climate change education.' Journal of Geography in Higher Education. ISSN 0309-8265.
This is the first published output from the project, and details how the project worked as an exercise in innovative climate change pedagogy, thanks to the inclusion of undergraduate Geography students in the development of the play. It provides an overview of the role students played in shaping the story, and uses interviews with the actors and geography students to explore the ways in which this work has shaped their understanding of and attitudes towards the human impacts of climate change. It concludes that collaborative storytelling between geographers and students of creative arts subjects offers a powerful approach to climate change pedagogy.