Outcomes and Goals

Outcomes and Goals


Cymbeline Anthropocene is a ground-breaking experiment in ecodramaturgy dedicated to representing global ecological relations through consciously situated and culturally differentiated stage adaptions of Shakespeare's play. It will establish a uniquely valuable ecocritical and performance-studies archive for Shakespeare scholars, theatre practitioners, environmental activist groups, and members of the public.

The project’s public access opportunities will allow communities within and beyond academia to participate in and shape the direction of its creative and intellectual work. Scholars and theatre practitioners will learn about new ecocritical and ecodramaturgical openings that refashion Shakespeare as our Anthropocene contemporary.

The archive will document the ecodramaturgical thinking and labour behind the finished stage products, as well as spectator responses. It will thereby reveal the reciprocal agencies that create the performance event, agencies which normally tend to be hidden in publicity or reviews. Moreover, by experiencing diverse adaptations of Cymbeline’s environmentally and ethically suggestive storytelling, local audiences will benefit from heightened awareness of environmental relations in their domestic, institutional, and community dwelling spaces. 

Above all, the project’s collaborative ethos hopes to exemplify the multilateral co-operation that is needed to address the environmental crises of the Anthropocene. It will likewise bridge the disciplinary gap between academic criticism and theatrical space, and encourage the public to enter into these conversations. 

We hope the success of Cymbeline in the Anthropocene will inpsire other theatre companies to undertake similar collaborative partnerships and public humanities outreach in new Shakespeare- or Anthropocene-related projects.

Scholarly Outcomes

The project’s scholarly participants will develop a new model of site-specific performance and production and audience research that expands the epistemological boundaries of Shakespearian ecocriticism. In addition, the following will be produced over the course of the project:

  • an ecodramaturgical team meeting with workshopping and discussion of theoretical concepts via selected scenes in Cymbeline
  • an online open­-access research archive for Shakespeare and theatre studies scholars
  • seven community-based productions of Cymbeline on four continents, each generating diverse ecodramaturgical and ecocritical interpretations 
  • environmentally contextualizing commentary notes and reviews about each show 
  • spectator research fieldwork
  • a culminating open-access symposium showcasing the performances and presenting ecocritical and ecodramaturgical analysis  
  • conference presentations, journal articles, and blogs about the project (e.g. https://globalshakespeares.mit.edu/cymbeline-in-the-anthropocene-a-global-eco-theatrical-collaboration/)

Societal Outcomes

The project’s artistic and public participants will mainly benefit from their interaction with the performances themselves, and with the ensuing public-access discussions that follow, both in person and online. Theatre practitioners involved in Cymbeline Anthropocene will also benefit from the opportunity to produce a lesser-known Shakespeare play which is more open to ground-breaking interpretation and production. The website will allow them to share their ecodramaturgical discoveries with international peers, and exchange technical, intellectual, and artistic insights. The following list outlines the main cultural/societal products of the project: