Whole Earth Talk #1 with Thomas Oberender at the Segal Center on Monday 10 April 2023

A «Whole Earth Conversation» with Thomas Oberender (Germany) about the new role theatre and performance can and should play in the new age of the Anthropocene, a geological era shaped by humans rather than by nature. We ask how can the significant symbolic, imaginary, and real space of theatre can help artists and audiences realize that a contemporary theatre and performance practice can no longer just represents interhuman conflicts. How can we raise the necessary and urgent awareness to include a planetary consciousness about animals, plants, viruses, the atmosphere, as well as the »critical zone” 30 feet above and below the surface of the earth in contemporary theatre and performance?

Thomas Oberender, born in 1966 in Jena, is an author and curator. Since 2011 he has been the Artistic and Managing Director of Berliner Festspiele / Gropiusbau. He was the founder of several new formats for perfomance, literature, and cultural programs, and created timebased exhibitions. From 2006–2011 he was Director of Drama at the Salzburg Festival. He has written essays, theater plays and literature reviews and is currently working as Artistic Director of the transmedial program «Immersion», that also opens planetariums as spaces for artists of the digital age.