Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Court and National Theatre Wales are among companies demanding industry action to highlight the “climate emergency” as part of a new campaign.
They are asking members of the public to write ‘letters to the earth’ as a response to the “climate and ecological emergency the world is now facing”, which will be presented as part of a day of action on April 12.
The letters will be read at theatres nationwide on the day, but the Letters to the Earth project is intended to be the start of a wider campaign calling on the industry to do its part in raising awareness of the issue and taking necessary action.
Former Young Vic artistic director David Lan, who is supporting the project, said: “As Sophocles and Shakespeare and Molière and Ibsen and Brecht wrote plays as interventions into the major political crises of their worlds and of their time, so we now need our writers to record and reflect this probably biggest ever global challenge.
“But, more than that, [we need them] to help us understand what to do about it, how to prevent climate disruption from destroying so much that the west, the east, the north, the south have struggled to create over millennia. The time has always been now.”
Letters will be read out on April 12, and will be available online. The deadline for submissions is March 29 and, according to the organisers, letters can be “open to interpretation”.
The organisers said: “It can come from a personal place, be dramatic in form, be a call to action. The invitation is open to all – to think beyond the human narrative and bear witness to the scale and horror of this crisis.”
The Letters to the Earth project is inspired by the work of climate change campaigners Extinction Rebellion and the global School Strike for Climate, which this month saw more than a million children worldwide demonstrate against climate change, according to organisers.