© 2017

Performance for Resilience

Engaging Youth on Energy and Climate through Music, Movement, and Theatre

  • Chronicles the development of Shine, a mini-musical performance designed to galvanise community action for climate and energy

  • Presents community-based performance as a tool for increasing youth participation in community action

  • Brings into conversation climate science and the performing arts

  • Includes supplementary material:

Palgrave Macmillan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Beth Osnes
    Pages 1-16
  3. Beth Osnes
    Pages 135-150
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 151-158

About this book


This book focuses on Shine, a musical performance about how energy, humanity, and climate are interrelated. Weaving together climate science and artistic expression, it results in a funny and powerful story spanning 300 million years. The first half is professionally script

ed, composed, and choreographed to convey how our use of fossil fuels is impacting our climate. The second half - our future story - is authored by local youth to generate solutions for their city’s resilience. In rehearsing the musical, participants themselves embody aspects of climate science and human development. Ultimately, it demonstrates that performance can be a dynamic tool for youth to contribute to their community’s resilience.

Educators can use this book to guide youth in creative expression based on (or inspired by) Shi

ne. Included are the script, links to the music and video of the performance, materials for building curricula, interviews with collaborators, and lessons learned along Shine’s year-long international tour.


Performance Studies Theatre Environmental Design Environmental Studies Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Initiative Local Communities Climate Energy Humanity Youth Engagement

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA

About the authors

Beth Osnes is Associate Professor of Theatre and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado. She is co-director of Inside the Greenhouse, a CU initiative for creative climate communication, author of Theatre for Women’s Participation in Sustainable Development, and is featured in the award-winning documentary Mother: Caring for 7 Billion.

Bibliographic information


“An important guide for creatively engaging youth on the most critical topic our planet faces today - climate change. Youth not only have a right to be a part of building a resilient future in the face of climate change, they also have the passion and creativity to advance all of our thinking. This book provides practical tools and inspirational stories for involving youth in conceiving of a better tomorrow through the arts.” (Dr Victoria Derr, California State University Monterey Bay, USA)

“Through co-created climate communication, Osnes persuasively advocates for the centrality of creative youth participation in building climate resilient communities.  In sharing her experiences of using collaborative creative methods, she facilitates an important and vital shift for climate communication and engagement strategies, towards the inclusion of young people’s embodied and place-based knowledge as central to achieving inclusive climate resilience.” (Professor Julie Doyle, University of Brighton, UK)

“This is a project that rouses a sleeping giant — youth — to joyfully engage in authoring a new story for climate, energy, and resilience. It supports them in using their voice through art to act on the scientific knowledge that our climate is changing. This is an educational tool well-suited to anyone who trusts that youth need to be a part of our collective solution moving forward.” (James Balog, Director, Extreme Ice Survey and Earth Vision Institute)