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Playing a Part in Climate Action

The picture of what a low-carbon future looks like is different for everyone, with the arts industry playing a key role in bringing that vision to life

Theatre is the perfect platform in which issues and controversial subject matter – such as climate change and sustainability - can be teased out and grappled in a way that can really engage audiences in all sides of a debate.

That is why ESB teamed up with Fishamble: The New Play Company to inspire creators to capture what a Brighter Future means for people living in communities across Ireland.

The ‘Tiny Plays for A Brighter Future’ campaign – launched in February 2021 - aspires to give creative expression to all points of view in the transition to a low carbon energy future: to look at the choices we all must make to meet our future climate goals, examine how those choices will impact communities across Ireland, and imagine what we want the Ireland of our future to be, through 600-word Tiny Plays. 

The response was huge, reflective of the level of interest and desire to be part of something challenging yet essential.  Three chosen writers will have their play brought to life by Fishamble, who will produce and film multimedia pieces that will be shared online with each also receiving a commissioning fee.

Arts and Corporate Partnerships

“This unique partnership with Fishamble recognises the important role that theatre and the arts can play in communicating the opportunities and complexities of Ireland’s transition to a low carbon energy future, says Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB. “Clean electricity will not only be a transformative force in the fight against climate change but will also bring wider benefits for people in terms of health and wellbeing. We are looking forward to seeing how this can be brought to life through submissions from across Ireland.”

This is the latest Tiny Play challenge from Fishamble. During the first lockdown, from March to May 2020, Fishamble set an initial challenge to keep everyone’s creativity flowing by challenging people in Ireland and around the world, to write 600-word Tiny Plays, with the themes of community, nature, trade, essential, and change. There were over 470 submissions, with the shortlisted plays published on their website, and 10 plays produced and streamed online as Tiny Plays 24/7.

Jim Culleton, Artistic Director with Fishamble, highlights the importance of partnerships between corporate and artistic worlds and especially during these challenging times.

“Fishamble is always looking for ways to engage with partners and businesses, in order to create work with artists, and to reach audiences with stories that are really important to tell. This partnership with ESB is a great example of two organisations coming together, to tell stories that matter.”

Brighter Future for the Arts

With climate change dominating conversations and headlines, the arts industry is enthused to play a big part in telling the story.

“I think there is a lot of interest among the artistic community in issues of climate change and the environment, which are and will continue to have such an impact on the way we live. This partnership with ESB is a perfect match for Fishamble, as it encourages playwrights to deal with these issues through tiny plays. There are already fantastic longer works about the issues, and I’m sure there will be more in the future, as playwrights always help us understand the world in which we live and lead the way in having difficult conversations.”