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Research into Environmental Sustainability and Performance

Research into Environmental Sustainability and Performance

Engage with department research into Environmental Sustainability and Performance.

David Bullen is a theatre maker and researcher whose work focuses on feminist and queer performance making approaches to myth, especially Greek tragedy. The play at the centre of his research is Euripides' Bacchae; he is currently researching past performance work and future performance strategies that 're-wild' this play about a nature deity's revenge on his disbelieving urban nemesis. Drawing on recent work by philosophers Jack Halberstam and Bonnie Honig, David is exploring the way the play's ecological themes align with queer and feminist readings. As a director and writer with By Jove Theatre Company, a collective he co-founded in 2011 with other Royal Holloway Drama, Theatre, and Dance alumni, David is developing a collaboration with an environmental scientist to explore the connections between creation myths and an approach to the world that is oriented around ecological concerns. David also facilitates Carbon Literacy Training ( at Royal Holloway. 

Greer Crawley is a researcher and practitioner with interests that range from landscape design, scenography, to exhibition design and curation. Working with artists, designers and curators, she applies scenographic perspectives to collaborative projects between performance, arts and science that interrogate the narratives of weather, climate, sustainability and ocean space.  She is a member of the Material: Art: Science: Environment: Research (MASER) group at Bath Spa University which brings together artists, scientists, curators and researchers from across the university and beyond to explore the intersections between art and science and the possibilities of shared practices and methodologies in interdisciplinary work.

Helen Gilbert researches environmental activism in the creative arts in Australia, Canada and the Pacific, particularly in Indigenous and other marginalised communities. In 2013 she curated a major London exhibition on the theme of Indigenous arts and sustainability and she is now developing a new international project that will study water-related eco-activism over the last three decades, with a particular focus on performances about ocean habitats, climate change and environmental justice.

Katie Mitchell is committed to finding new forms of theatre to tackle the subject of climate change. She has made two productions with scientists about the subject at The Royal Court: Ten Billion (2012) with Stephen Emmott and 2071 (2014) with Professor Chris Rapley. Her staging of Beckett's Happy Days relocated the action to a post-apocalyptic flooded landscape and she has also directed an off-grid production of Duncan MacMillan's Lungs, where the performers powered the electricity for the light and sound whilst acting the text. Currently she is preparing for a live cinema show about climate change at the Vienna Burgtheater (with writer, Alice Birch and film-maker, Grant Gee), working on a new production of The Cherry Orchard from the point of view of the trees for the Hamburg Schauspielhaus and developing an off-grid touring module for Vidy Theatre, Lausanne, about climate activism.

Liz Schafer researches drama of the early modern period, that is, drama created during the first period of major deforestation in England, a period of disruptive climate change that Shakespeare often responds to in his writing (see Titania’s ‘climate change speech’ in Midsummer Night’s Dream (2.1). She is interested in the Globe as the first recycled playhouse (built in 1599 from timbers taken from the dismantled Theatre Playhouse) and what this might mean for the ‘recycling’ of performance and revival. She is Green Rep for Royal Holloway UCU. She also teaches Carbon Literacy:

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