Catastrophic Imaginings: Human-Driven Catastrophe, the Anthropocene, The Skin of Our Teeth, and Lungs

Hayden Lane-Davies

Name: Hayden Lane-Davies
Major: Theatre and Dance, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Advisors: Dr. Jimmy Noriega, Dr. Natasha Bissonauth (Second Reader)
This Independent Study explores questions of human-driven catastrophe and how it is represented in the theatre. It asks, how are playwrights engaging with the concept of human- driven catastrophe to create plays that speak to the pressing issues of their times? How might those catastrophes speak to our current moment? And how can an acting recital be crafted to respond to this? Throughout the project I examined these questions with a theoretical lens crafted from feminist responses to the Anthropocene, applying this lens to a textual analysis of two plays — Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth and Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs. This work was then applied to “Catastrophes of Our Own Making: Scenes from The Skin of Our Teeth and Lungs,” an acting recital filmed at The College of Wooster. The edited film of that recital composes the video component of this symposium presentation. What drew me to this topic was how the term “Catastrophe” encompassed much of what I saw in the plays I was reading as well as the current moment. Although there was little existing scholarship combining these different ways of thinking, I am hopeful that the research I have done here may prove useful to other theatre scholars seeking to understand the roles of art and performance in making sense of the Anthropocene and its future implications.
Click to watch Hayden’s video presentation.
Hayden will be online to field comments on April 16:
noon-2pm EDT (PST: 9-11am, Africa/Europe: late afternoon)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study.

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Related Areas of Study

Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Champion the experiences of women as they intersect with race, nation, ability, class, religion, and other axes of difference

Major Minor

Theatre and Dance

Scholarship and artistry in theatre and dance for those who are passionate about performance in all its forms

Major Minor

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