This week on Ours To Protect on Beat, Orla took a trip to a unique event at Theatre Royal in Waterford called “The Climate Stage is Yours”. Schools from around the county got involved to find out more about how theatre and the arts can work to address the challenges faced by the world as a result of climate change and the climate crisis. 

What is “The Climate Stage is Yours”? 

It is a festival of 5-minute climate-themed plays that are the results of several workshops carried out with primary school students from four schools in Waterford city.  The theme was “climate change” and the role that theatre and the arts can play in addressing the challenges faced by our society. The event took place in October at the Theatre Royal in Waterford. 

The initiative allows young people to speak about their concerns surrounding the ongoing climate crisis interactively and engagingly. 

The workshops allow the students to create characters and scenes in short plays that put the characters in a climate-based predicament and develop the characters to come to a resolution. 

Why are events like this important? 

Events like this are important for the younger generation as they can capture the imagination for students to picture themselves to get involved and engaged in climate action. That’s according to Nick Kavanagh, the Theatre Royal’s artist-in-residence. He says that it prevents them from being in a mindset that is reliant on hope, and it encourages students to be more proactive in their approach. 

According to Artnet News, climate change can be represented meaningfully through art because “Art has a way of getting ahead of the general discourse because it can convey information in novel ways.” Climate change artworks, including theatre, differ in how they are interpreted and how they impact the viewer. Engaging art workshops are included in this approach.

Why is it important for young people to be more involved in climate action?

Young people are not the only victims of climate change. They are also valuable contributors to climate action. They are agents of change, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Whether through education, science or technology, young people are scaling up their efforts and using their skills to accelerate climate action. That’s according to the United Nations, who say:

“Climate change has increased levels of uncertainty about our future. As its impacts intensify over time, one thing has become certain: We will leave the Earth to today’s children and young people, and future generations.”

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