Celebrating 15 Years of Eco Drama!

This September, as Eco Drama turns 15, we are taking a moment to reflect on some of the highlights of 15 years of theatre, creative learning and practical action for nature, which we have been privileged to make happen with children, young people and communities across Scotland.

Eco Drama was founded in September 2007 as an arts-based response to climate change and the ecological challenges facing us on a local and global scale. Our vision was that the arts, in particular drama, storytelling and theatre, should become increasingly recognized as powerful tools through which to explore and re-imagine our relationship to the natural world. 15 years on our goal remains unchanged – to inspire wonder, curiosity and care for nature in all we do.  

Our very first production was The Isle of Egg – a play about climate change, positive thinking and the power of community spirit, inspired by the real island of Eigg and all they have done to become a more sustainable island. We had the most memorable show launch on the island, and even had two members of the Eigg community subsequently join Eco Drama’s Board of Directors, Maggie Fyffe and Lucy Conway, who helped to support and encourage Eco Drama forward in the early years. Much has changed since that first production, for the company and in the world, but one of the key sentiments of the show remains across all we do, that we can all play a part and that every small action amounts to greater change. As the closing song in the show went – ‘anyone can be a green island…a tower block, a classroom or a village, working together, that’s the way to be’.

Another highlight has been touring our production The Forgotten Orchard in schools, theatres, community venues and at Harvest Festivals, Apple Days and Science Festivals across Scotland. The play has excited thousands of children (and adults) about Scotland’s rich orchard heritage, and in collaboration with schools and communities who have watched the production, we have planted 43 school orchards across Glasgow to date, and 1 community orchard in Townhead in Glasgow City Centre. Our passion for linking up the arts and culture with positive, practical action for the environment remains strong and we can’t wait to deliver another ‘Forgotten Orchard’ project next year, with more orchards to be planted in communities across Glasgow.

Despite the difficulties of the past two years, we are proud to have delivered and produced the Future Calling project with young people during the first lockdown in 2020. The visionary messages in the film below are full of hope and possibility for a future with greater environmental harmony.

This post will become too long to highlight everything, but to finish, it feels right to highlight our most ambitious and treasured projects to date; Uprooted, which featured Scotland’s first Living Stage, and Out to Play, our longest running project since 2015 which is about to deliver its biggest year to date. This video made by Mike Rea illustrates both projects beautifully. We love looking back on this film to watch the children’s interviews at the end!

At this big milestone, we’d like to thank all of our past and present collaborators, past and present staff and Board members and all of the children, young people, schools, venues, communities and funders we’ve worked with over the last 15 years.

Our passion for the cause continues as we celebrate our 15th year, and we go forward with a renewed sense of purpose to continue nurturing curiosity, wonder and care for our natural world so that we all may live on a more equitable and healthy planet.