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Plant Life Performance

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Funding Year: 2017

Research Areas: Other

Regions: North America

Live interactive performances can be a meaningful tool for educating the public about environmental change. This project will culminate in the composition of a site-specific performance for public gardens and landscapes that will educate audiences about conservation, and examine the environmental impacts of our relationship with plants.


The researchers will highlight plant life particularly vulnerable to extinction, and create a performance piece,Wild Longings, in which audiences are led on an immersive and intimate journey of music, plant sounds and lyrical text exploring the world of plants and the role they play in our lives. The audience will be guided by the score towards various species to examine them in detail.

Wild Longings is named for the British Victorian botanist and artist Marianne North who when on the Brazilian Cata Branca plateau, recounted becoming wild with longing to examine the rarest plants growing amongst the rocks. Through intimate engagement with plant life, the researchers hope to foster audiences sense of connection with plants and responsibility to protect and conserve vulnerable ecosystems.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Helen Paris, Professor of Theater and Performance Studies

Leslie Hill, Professor of Theater and Performance Studies

Seung Yon Rhee, Professor of Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science

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