Crude Utopia: The Performance of Energy Transition in Canada

A wave of energy-related theatrical productions and performances has emerged in Canada in the past decade. “Crude Utopia: The Performance of Energy Transition in Canada” analyzes eight such cultural and artistic productions, ultimately arguing that moments of utopia within them gesture toward possibilities beyond human dependence on oil. Such utopic moments allow audiences to “practice” how to transition from oil to more sustainable energy structures. In light of the current momentum of activities such as fracking and Arctic drilling – made necessary by the depletion of easily-accessible oil and gas reserves – the insight that Canadian theatre and performance can provide about energy transition is both vital and urgent. This project will play a role in this transition by providing analysis to facilitate Canada’s movement toward cleaner energy and sustainable energy-use practices. It will also help to inform the creation of future theatrical productions as part of Open Theatre Company, which aims to build bridges for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians of all levels of experience to come together to explore, create, and develop theatrical work that is sustainable and environmentally conscious.

Faculty Supervisor:

Erin Hurley


Olivia Heaney


Open Theatre Company




Media and communications




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