Human degradation of the environment has been documented by scholars across a range of disciplines: the global temperature of the planet continues to rise, abandoned industrial sites stain once vibrant communities, and questions about the purity of our water and foods linger. In the shadow of these material conditions, concerned citizens have reacted by issuing critiques against careless consumerism and excessive lifestyles. Their hope is to illustrate and inspire alternative ways of living. As part of such efforts and activism, some have turned to performance as a means to investigate matters further, pose challenges and questions, and enact new ways of being and thinking in a globalized world. Performance on Behalf of the Environment is a collection of essays from a diverse group of scholars that explore critically the strengths, limitations, and processes of what can be termed environmental performances.
Chapter 1. Introduction: Performance on Behalf of the Environment / Jnan A. Blau and Richard D. Besel
Part I: Performers and Audiences
Chapter 2. It’s a Party, Not a Protest: Environmental Community, Co-Incident Performance, and the San José Bike Party / David Terry and Anne Marie Todd
Chapter 3. Performing Nonhuman Liberation: How the ALF and ELF Rupture the Political Imagination / Jason Del Gandio
Chapter 4. Eco-Comedy Performance: An Alchemy of Environmentalism and Humor / Alison Bodkin
Chapter 5. Embodied Perspective by Incongruity: Environmental Critique in an Age of Performance / Richard D. Besel
Part II: Places and Spaces
Chapter 6. Reinhabiting the Land: From Vacant Lot to Garden Plot / Barbara Willard
Chapter 7. “Progress Fell Upon Us”: Ecotourism, Culture, and Performance in the Peruvian Amazon / Jnan A. Blau
Chapter 8. “On Finding Ways of Being”: Kinesthetic Empathy in Dance and Ecology / Julia Handschuh
Chapter 9. Indeterminate Hikes+: Hiking Through the Urban Wilderness / Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint
Part III: Materials and Processes
Chapter 10. Indigenous Theatre in Global Times: Situated Knowledge and Ecological Communities in Salmon Is Everything and Burning Vision / Theresa May
Chapter 11. Staging Sustainable Shakespeare: “Greening” the Bard While Advancing Institutional Mission / Ray Schultz and Jess Larson
Chapter 12. Puppet Planets and Spirit Soldiers: Staging Ecological Representations in Baby Universe and Forgotten World / Courtney Ryan
Richard D. Besel and Jnan A. Blau are both associate professors in the Communication Studies Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
"Brimming with vital insight and important questions, this volume stages productive and timely incursions into urgent discussions around performance and environmental stewardship."
– David Fancy, Brock University
"Performance on Behalf of the Environment is a much needed collection exploring connections between performance and environmentalism. Drs. Besel and Blau have assembled a compelling and provocative group of essays, spanning a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches, whose authors prompt us to carefully consider and critique the ways our performances affect our world."
– Amy Kilgard, San Francisco State University