Theatre has a complex history of responding to crises, long before they happen. Through stage plays, contemporary challenges can be presented, explored and even foreshadowed in ways that help audiences understand the world around them. Since the theatre of the Greeks, audiences have turned to live theatre in order to find answers in uncertain political, social and economic times, and through this unique collection questions about
This anthology brings together a collection of 20 scenes from 20 playwrights that each respond to the world in crisis. Twenty of the world's most prolific playwrights were asked to select one scene from across their published work that speaks to the current world situation in 2020.
As COVID-19 continues to challenge every aspect of global life, contemporary theatre has long predicted a world on the edge. Through these 20 scenes from plays spanning from 1980 to 2020, we see how theatre and art has the capacity to respond, comment on and grapple with global challenges that in turn speak to the current time in which we are living.
Each scene, chosen by the writer, is prefaced by an interview in which they discuss their process, their reason for selection and how their work reflects both the past and the present. From the political plays of Lucy Prebble and James Graham to the polemics of Philip Ridley and Tim Crouch. From bold works by Inua Ellams, Morgan Lloyd Malcom and Tanika Gupta to the social relevance of Hannah Khalil, Zoe Cooper and Simon Stephens this anthology looks at theatre in the present and asks the question: "how can theatre respond to a world in crisis?"
The collection is prefaced by an introduction from Edward Bond, one of contemporary theatre's most prolific dramatists.