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11th November, 2020

Performing Landscapes: Mountains, Ruins, Ice


Event Details

11th November, 2020
20:00 -

Nearly two decades ago, theatre scholar Una Chaudhuri proclaimed that ‘On the theoretical scene of landscape, the theater makes a belated entrance’ (2002, 11).

The context for Chaudhuri’s criticism was the critical territory of landscape studies, which she perceived as lively, heated and cross-disciplinary. However, theatre criticism was notably absent from the scene; an absence that Chaudhuri and Eleanor Fuchs sought to address through their ground-breaking edited collection, Land/Scape/Theater (2002). Bringing theatre and performance into the landscape debate, their collection of essays explored landscapes represented in theatre as backdrops, metaphors, allegories, as well as material referents, alongside explorations of the relationship between form and landscape – landscape dramaturgy and landscape aesthetics.

More recent encounters with ‘landscape’ have extended the discussion again, this time through pressing debates engaging with environmentalism and climate crises. These discussions challenge not only representational theory and analysis through attention to the phenomenological, affective, kinaesthetic, haptic, audile, somatic, sensuous and material, but also interrogate the conjunctions, separations and weavings of nature-culture and human-nature relations, moving towards post-human and post-anthropocene critical positioning.

In this panel discussion, which chimes with the new series from Palgrave Macmillan, Performing Landscapes (series editors Dee Heddon and Sally Mackey), we focus on three landscape environments – mountains, ruins and ice – to explore, variously:

  • how performance scholars might approach, encounter and engage landscapes;
  • how particular landscapes ‘perform’;
  • how we humans act within landscapes and how specific landscapes are ‘performed’ through theatrical performance;
  • the roles and functions that particular landscapes have in performance and the tropes which emerge;
  • the influence of landscape performances on our knowledges of, and encounters and practices with, the environment.


  • Professor Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds), author of Performing Mountains (Palgrave 2020)
  • Dr Simon Murray (University of Glasgow), author of Performing Ruins (Palgrave 2020)
  • Dr Carolyn Philpott, Professor Elizabeth Leane (University of Tasmania), co-editors (with Professor Matt Delbridge) of Performing Ice (Palgrave 2020)


  • Professor Una Chaudhuri (New York University)

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