Methodology and Timeline

Methodology and Timeline

Creating an Archive

Cymbeline in the Anthropocene’s main goal is to create an online open-access research archive documenting and exchanging the discoveries of individual Cymbeline performances. The project's research methods consist of: following and investigating rehearsal and production developments; interviewing designers, artisans, directors, producers, and performers; inviting spectators and visitors to share their reception experiences; publishing ecocritical essays and reviews by the project leader and researcher; participating in (and later commenting on) a panel on eco-Shakespeare in performance at the 2021 meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, and in the 2021 Globe4Globe conference on Shakespeare and Climate Emergency; and collecting three years of site and production images, soundscapes, and local media reviews. During the pandemic lockdowns, we also published blogs about related eco-Shakespeare productions such as the pioneering Spanish-English Richardo II by Merced ShakespeareFest.   

Collaborating with Community Theatres

The community-based theatres with whom the project is working are exceptions to big-budget companies’ avoidance of eco-Shakespeare. They are joining what, until now, is a small number of local productions dedicated to raising awareness about risks to their environments and human and non-human residents. Their engagement prioritizes an “ethics of proximity” and care originally established by place-based, first-wave environmentalist writers. While this local attention is indispensable, it can be limited in its ability to address larger, global ecological problems. Participation by our seven theatre companies from four continents bridges this gap by uniting multiple local perspectives across the globe in a common purpose.  

To learn about our various collaborating theatres, please see the Place and People pages in our navigation menu. 


The project’s knowledge-creation process began officially with a team meeting and workshops in Santa Barbara, California, USA in February 2020. This site was chosen because it was the most central location for collaborators coming from Asia, Australia, North America, and Europe, and it was the home of one of our contributing theatres. Over three days participants gave short presentations (using translators as necessary) about their companies and the environmental contexts of their productions. They discussed the ecodramaturgical possibilities and futures of the play, workshopped selected scenes, and concluded with a roundtable that was open to the public (see February 2020 Archive on this website). During the meeting, we were mindful of Theresa J. May’s observation that ecodramaturgy is not a set of pre-determined ideological or aesthetic choices. Rather, it is an intention to connect local community or regional knowledge and self-conscious practices which operate under the collective ethos of theatrical and environmental awareness (May 2010).

The project's original plan was to conclude with a performance festival and symposium in Santa Barbara two years after the planning meeting. Unfortunately this plan was altered and the project delayed by Covid-19 theatre closures as well as withdrawls by particular companies (Georgia, Kazakhstan, China, Canada, Beijing, and the USA [Santa Barbara]). But in the same period companies in Buenos Aires and at Cornell University joined the project after the planning meeting. The project culminated successfully in a three-day hybrid performance symposium hosted in Bozeman, Montana, USA in July 2022. The event featured in-person and digital presentations from our seven participating professional, community, and student companies about their processes of eco-adaption and -performance. The performance symposium also launched five of the seven performances on the Cymbeline in the Anthropocene YouTube channel (Yosemite, Bozeman, Cornell, Buenos Aires, Wales). (A sixth show in Exeter was not viewable publically for legal reasons, and the seventh show in Australia is being remediated from stage performance to comic book form by the director at his own request). 

Our website has been designed and constructed by Ameravant, and like the entire project it is funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The project hashtag (#CymbelineAnthropocene), a Twitter handle @ecocymbeline, and an Instagram account, ecocymbeline, invite social-media responses from the public.