Call for Papers: Sustainable Theatre and Performance Practices


The urgency of rethinking and reimagining human activity – especially our use of planetarian resources as well as our modes of existing and coexisting with other human and non-human beings – has become increasingly obvious as the massive ecological catastrophes resulting from climate change and mass extinction have entered our horizons.

The answer to this has been coined ‘Sustainability’, a word that at the same time poses a serious challenge for all sectors of society, including the theatre and performance field, and runs the risk of degenerating into just another buzzword, a medium for new kinds of tokenism and empty promises. Time has come to qualify this concept in relation to theatre and performance practices: institutionally, pedagogically and aesthetically.

Centered in the discourse of the Anthropocene and the critique of modernist thinking, based on the rationale of dichotomies, John Robinson describes Sustainability “as a political act – not a scientific concept”, focusing on the term as being both a discursive playing field in which conflicting views can be debated, and the emergent property of a conversation about what kind of world we collectively want to live in now and in the future (Robinson 2004).  The cultural dimension of sustainability echoes with being the harmonie amongst differences (Gadotti 2009) and the noological sphere of human imagination and creativity (Kagan 2011). As for the critique of Modernist thinking, Professor of Human Geography Mike Hulme even goes as far as to describe climate crisis, not as a crisis happening to the Modern world, but as a crisis about the Modern world. Following this thought, he uses a well-known rhetoric but flips the question and highlights: We need not to ask what we can do for climate change, but what climate change can do for us (Hulme 2009).

Translated into the field of theatre and performance, what can then come out of this crisis besides cutting down the negative carbon footprint and reusing old set designs? What kind of theatre and performance practices emerge beyond our endeavors to avoid the ecological catastrophes? What does sustainability look like in specific institutional and aesthetic circumstances? Do these new practices transcend or reproduce modernist dichotomies and tendencies towards linear development and thinking? Do they enhance and produce new possibilities for desirable ways of living together?

This issue of Peripeti focuses on Sustainability as creative institutional and artistic practice within the field of theatre and performance. We invite perspectives on both institutional, pedagogical and structural changes, on new discourses, new ways of rehearsing, producing, experiencing and relating to theatre and performance, as well as analysis on examples of performances and artistic practices that in form and content embodies sustainability. We also invite reflections on indigenous practices and knowledge production that links theatre and performing practices with local environments.

Topics could be, but are not limited to:

  • Case studies of transformations of theatre and performance practices that produce more sustainable forms of theatre or support more sustainable forms of life.
  • Historiographical analysis of the development of theatre and performance practices with regard to sustainability.
  • Analysis of performances or theatre texts that in form and/or content addresses sustainability directly.
  • Theoretical development within dramaturgy, theatre and performance studies that aims to qualify the description and development of sustainable practices.
  • Artistic research that explores and develops sustainable practices within and/or through theatre and performance.

Articles can be submitted in any of the Scandinavian languages or in English and cannot be already published or submitted for publishing elsewhere.

Please send proposals to Lise Sofie Houe:

- Deadline for abstracts, max. 300 words:  January 7th  2022
- Deadline for articles (for peer review and other contributions): May 1st 2022
- Publication: mid-December 2022.

Writing guidelines:

Research articles (for peer review): max. 36,000 characters, other essays: max. 24,000 characters


Peripeti is a Danish journal focusing on dramaturgy and performing arts, edited by researchers, dramaturgs and artists, see

Editors of this issue are Lise Sofie Houe, Yvonne Schmidt, Sandra Therese Buch, Kim Skjoldager-Nielsen and Thomas Rosendal Nielsen.