Return of live theater adds impact to conversation on climate issues

As the pandemic’s impact on gatherings diminishes, Theater Projects Manitoba (TPM) sees the return of in-person theater performances as an opportunity to start important conversations about climate change.

TPM is staging a series called “Climate and Main”, consisting of five short plays all centered on climate change issues. TPM art director Suzie Martin told CTV Morning Live that the project has roots dating back to last year, but the original project was delayed by the rise of the Omicron variant. Martin said the delay allowed them to take the project in a different direction.

“So we took this delay as an opportunity to expand and put a bit more behind the project. The pieces are a range of subjects and styles around the idea of ​​climate change and the precarious planet,” Martin said.

The series consists of five short plays, three of which are written by local playwrights, one by a nationally renowned playwright, and the fifth contribution by an international playwright.

While many arts groups and artists have shifted to streaming performances during the pandemic, Martin suggested the subject matter becomes more inclusive and poignant when unfolding right in front of audiences.

“It’s crazy to be like, oh yeah, we’re actually opening something in real life, in person,” Martin said.

“We always say this about theater, there’s something about the liveliness of being together in the same room for conversation and because it’s such a diverse group of performers and ‘a diverse group of plays, we have a lot of ways to enter the conversation,’ Martin said.

Martin emphasized the universal impact of climate change and said the coin series highlights this fact.

“One of the things that’s exciting is that the age, race and gender diversity that we have in the business allows anyone who comes to see themselves on stage also represented in the plays, which is important for reminding us that we are all, in fact, together. It’s not just one person’s problem.” Martin said the range of experiences among attendees is another area where diversity leads to positive outcomes. .

“It’s a mix of experience levels. It was really important for us to give people the opportunity to chat with each other as well, and for the older generation to bring the artists up as they go.

“Climate and Main” takes place at the Théâtre Cercle Molière from June 22 to 24. Ticket information is available at Theater Projects Manitoba website.

– With files from CTV’s Joey Slattery.

Teresa H. Sadler