Is This How You Feel?
Is This How You Feel? is set to be a powerful, stirring, and essential exploration of climate change, told through verbatim testimony, physical theatre, and music. Theatremakers Shane Anthony (Chopt Logic) and Hayden Rodgers (Boom Squish) are adapting the international letter writing project of the same name, curated by Australian science communicator Joe Duggan. Over the last 5 years, the original project saw responses from climate scientists’ about their emotional connection to the climate crisis as they answered the question “how do you feel about climate change?”. In this adaptation, the voices of youth climate leaders from around the world will be added, creating an emotional snapshot of those most committed to saving the planet.
During this residency, the team aims to continue collecting verbatim testimony from youth climate leaders, revealing emotional themes between themselves and the world’s leading climate scientists, and begin piecing together the structure of this snapshot.
Shane Anthony is a director, producer, dramaturg and movement coach. With extensive directing, movement, communication coaching and teaching experience he specialises in actor training with a physical focus. He is a graduate of the Directing Program at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Screenwriting for Feature Film at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and has completed a BA in Theatre Studies at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Select directing credits include Our Blood Runs in the Street by Shane Anthony and the ensemble, Anatomy of a Suicide by Alice Birch (nominated for four Sydney Theatre Awards), The Whale for Redline Productions at The Old Fitz Theatre (nominated for eight Sydney Theatre Awards in 2016), Lighten Up by Nicholas Brown and Sam McCool at Griffin Theatre,
Songs for the Fallen for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (winner of Best Musical and Most Outstanding Actress), Sydney Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne and Brisbane International Arts Festival, Altar Boyz, Calendar Girls and Avenue Q for Fortune Theatre (New Zealand), My Name is Rachel Corrie for La Boite Theatre and Donwstairs Belvoir, 3 Winters by Tena Štivičić, Love and Information by Caryl Churchill, Orestes, Trojan Women and Radio Hysteria for NIDA Open, Doctor Faustus and The Crucible for RCHK (Hong Kong), Mrs Bang: A Series of Seductions for the 32nd Stage Song Festival (Poland), Often I Find That I Am Naked for Critical Stages – (Australian National Tour), Motortown by Simon
Stephens for 23rd Productions (nominated Best Show, Matilda Awards).
Movement direction includes RENT, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime for The Court Theatre in Christchurch, the Australian feature film, Sleeping Beauty, and in 2009 as show director for CIRCA on their European tour of CIRCA. In 2007 he travelled to New York to continue training with Anne Bogart and the Saratoga International Theatre Institute. In 2012 he received a Mike Walsh Fellowship to attend the New York Film Academy in NYC. He is a recipient of the inaugural Youth Arts Queensland Spark “Jump” Mentorship and an Anna Sosenko Fellowship.
Shane facilitates workshops, lectures and seminars for a vast range of companies, both nationally and internationally. He is a core tutor across several departments at NIDA including the BFA programs, Open Program, Education and Corporate. He also teaches and directs for the UK-based artist-in-education company International Schools Theatre Association, Australian Institute of Music, Sydney Theatre School and Sydney Actors School.
A jack-of-all arts, Hayden began his career in theatre as an actor but has since become distracted and has started writing, designing, and producing theatre as well. His latest distraction brings together his two greatest passions – the environment and theatre – under the banner of Boom Squish. Utilising his experience in show development and his passion for writing, Hayden is creating and producing several new Australian works about the Climate Crisis.
As an actor, Hayden’s experience lies chiefly in developments of new shows and has originated many roles, including Monkey in Little Girl Lost (Company of Rogues/Matriark Theatre, 2019) and Joey/Bernard/Phillipe/Todd in the national tour of Josephine Wants To Dance (Monkey Baa, 2018) – which picked up a Glug and Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Children. Boys of Sondheim (City Recital Hall/Sydney Mardis Gras 2019); Big Blue Sky (development) for NIDA (2019); Don’t Call Me Ishmael (development) for A Very Theatre Company (2018).
Hayden has successfully ventured into creating his own works. His show An Audience With Death was selected for the 2019 Sydney Cabaret Competition and in the same year he wrote Murder, She Sang for independant theatre company, Little Triangle. Hayden has also designed for Little Triangle’s last two major productions, The Wild Party (2018) and Nine (2019), including both production design and sound design for Nine..
Now, Hayden’s theatre company, Boom Squish, intends to create and produce works which stir, provoke, and activate audiences on the issue of climate change while developing, exploring, and promoting sustainable design techniques and materials.
The Fringe residency program was an important step in the life of our project and the collaborative relationship between us. This is our first time working together on a project and getting to spend an extended time in the same space together and developing that working relationship is invaluable moving forward. Being in the space together also allowed us the time and space to schedule and conduct interviews with School Strikers whose verbatim words will make up a significant part of our show. We are passionate about creating theatre that provokes discussion around urgent social issues, and we are driven to do so, even more, following ‘reflection’ and development time during Covid.
– Shane Anthony & Hayden Rodgers