Globe 4 Globe: Shakespeare and Climate

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This major two-day event, co-hosted with the University of California (Merced), gathers experts, activists and theatre practitioners in a vital exploration of the relationships between Shakespeare’s works and the current climate crisis.

As human-made climate change threatens to dissolve the ‘great globe itself’, how can we use Shakespeare to address the most urgent environmental questions of our time?

Co-organised by Katie Brokaw, Paul Prescott and the Research department at Shakespeare’s Globe, this two-day event will span a range of pressing topics that will be at the forefront of our minds as we begin the process of post-Covid recovery. Scholars will explore ecological collapse and renewal in Shakespeare’s texts; environmental experts will map out ways in which Shakespearean theatres and festivals can achieve sustainable and ethical futures; theatre professionals will reflect on the capacity of live theatre to change audience perception and behaviour.



Register once to access the full two day schedule.

Friday 23 April 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Saturday 24 April 10.30am – 7.00pm
All times are BST (GMT+1)

This event takes place online

Join the conversation  #Globe4Globe


‘Shakespeare understood the devastating ecological effects of disrupting the delicate balance between nature and humankind. His work stands as both a warning and a beacon of hope during these important and vital times.

This symposium will use Shakespeare’s texts as a catalyst for conversation as we work towards practical solutions and positive action in an effort to bring the Earth and Humanity back into peaceful equilibrium.’

— Michelle Terry


This webinar will take place online, on Zoom.

Captions will be available.

A link with joining instructions will be emailed to you the day before the event takes place.

You will need a reliable internet connection and be able to join a Zoom meeting.

Please ensure you and all other attendees in your household follow both our community guidelines and Zoom’s community guidelines.



Randall Martin – Activating Environmental Consciousness through Shakespeare

The first Globe theatre began life in 1599 as a recycling project in new conditions of deforestation, climate volatility, and chronic plague reminiscent of the heightened environmental and health threats we face today. Randall will explore how Shakespeare’s plays reflect these conditions, and how his fictional characters and real-life practitioners responded with material practices of conservation and sustainability which can move and inspire audiences today.

He will also consider how Shakespeare represented the emergence of early modern resource extraction, industry, and consumerism. These developments made audiences aware of the limits of natural world, and the globalization of their local desires and consumption. Finally, he will show how the period’s changing land-, water-, and weather-scapes interact with Shakespeare’s characters in ways that shaped new forms of human ecological consciousness and subjectivity.

Solitaire Townsend

As a sustainability advisor and entrepreneur, Solitaire is always looking for the ‘story’ that will unlock real action – her secret is Shakespeare. She will share her tactics for enabling climate justice, sustainable lifestyles and radical transformation, all with the help of the bard. How else might Shakespeare help shape the world for the better?

Madeline Sayet – A World in Relation

Mohegan theater director Madeline will offer insights on how Shakespeare allows us to examine our climate crisis in performance, and how we might continue to imagine those possibilities as a call to action. Within Shakespeare’s plays, human actions are never isolated, independent events, but rather operate in relationship with the world around them. When a character enacts harm, it disrupts the world, creating violent natural repercussions, as is true in our current situation. In his plays, the audience is meant to understand the stakes of these disruptions and the necessity of healing, restoration and reciprocity, in a way contemporary ears often tune out. How might highlighting these relationships and the natural world’s rules of exchange in these plays provide opportunities to dismantle cognitive dissonance around the climate crisis?


ALSO IN 2021...