The Book

Ecoscenography: An Introduction to Ecological Design for Performance (Plagrave Macmilan 2021) is now available for purchase!

You can purchase a hardcover book and ebook here or contact your local library to request a copy.

About the book:

This ground-breaking book is the first to bring an ecological focus to theatre and performance design, both in scholarship and in practice. Ecoscenography weaves environmental philosophies and practices across genres and fields to provide a captivating vision for the future of sustainable theatre production. The book forefronts leading designers that are driving this emerging field into the mainstream through their relational and reciprocal engagement with place, audiences, materials, and processes. Beyond its radical philosophy and framework, Ecoscenography makes a compelling case for pursuing an ecological ethic in theatre and performance design, not only as a moral imperative, but for the extraordinary possibilities that it offers for more-than-human engagement. Based on her personal insights as a leading ecological researcher and practitioner, Beer offers a rich resource for scholars, students and practitioners alike, opening up new processes and aesthetics of theatrical design that enhance the environmental and social advocacy of the field.


Ecoscenography addresses the urgent challenge of sustainable theatre practice from the perspective of scenography. Using a wealth of global examples, Beer examines the potential for scenography that is aligned with an ecological agenda. Through her own pioneering practice, she shows how ecological thinking challenges traditional modes of production. She proposes new approaches to making and viewing performance within a broader understanding of human and more-than-human relationships and shows how materials are co-creators in performance.” (Dr Joslin McKinney, Associate Professor in Scenography, University of Leeds, UK)

“Beer’s book, Ecoscenography, is a 21st Century hopeful response to previous generations of theatre making in a capitalist paradigm. She articulates the need for the theatre artist and artist/makers in general to bust out of technocratic thinking, move beyond the quantitative analysis of how much ruin we are creating or avoiding, and ‘widen our identity’ to include ways of knowing, seeing, being, and making that are relational to the complex ecosystem in which we live and work. This book is well-crafted response and necessary now most especially because she gives us hope that we are not lost but that art can actually transform us as individuals and us as a society. ‘Hooray!’ for hopeful thinking and ‘Hooray!’ for Tanja Beer!” (April Viczko, Associate Professor, University of Calgary & Project Lead, World Stage Design 2022)

“This statement from Tanja Beer’s Ecoscenography: An Introduction to Ecological Design for Performance is very clearly summing up our inevitable situation: ‘We are standing at the precipice of a burgeoning movement, one that has the potential to drastically change the way we make theatre in the years to come.’ We are indeed in the midst of a serious and exciting change where many artists are realizing that a different approach is needed to start healing the planet. This book reveals many different possibilities to create sustainably, with communities, places, environments and ‘engage in acts of care’. Tanja Beer’s writing and her own practice inspire, energize and empower all readers to open up to ecological consciousness, make it core of their own collaborations and connect in building a holistic sustainable culture of creators.” (Markéta Fantová, Artistic Director, Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space)

“With Ecoscenography: An Introduction to Ecological Design for Performance, Tanja Beer provokes and encourages all theatre makers to embrace the transformational potentialities of a sustainable ethic. More than a guide, this book celebrates scenography as an agency for ‘worlding-with’, offering remarkable insights and tools for theatre making in the 21st century.  As a performance designer, I clearly sense that there is no possible scenography other than Ecoscenography!” (Dr Carolina E. Santo, designer and Curator of Performance, Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2022)

“Tanja Beer makes a compelling case for the need to embrace ecoscenography as an exciting new field that can contribute to the healing of our societies and our planet. With beautiful examples of ecological design in action, the book is a must that should be on the reading list of every theatre student and theatre maker.” (Chantal Bilodeau, Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle & Co-founder of Climate Change Theatre Action)

“In Ecoscenography, Tanja Beer takes the reader on a fascinating journey from ecological thinking towards sustainable practice, demonstrating how sustainability—far from being a limitation—opens up a new world of creative opportunities. Stage designers, but also theatre scholars and other practitioners in the field of performing arts, are introduced to an expanded concept of scenography, where the ideas of innovation, high-quality aesthetics, inspiration, ingenuity, become enriched and revitalised by an ecological ethic.” (Iphigenia Taxopoulou, General Secretary of mitos21 European Theatre Network)

“If you are a designer, scenographer, artist or somebody that cares deeply about the future of our world then this is a book for you. Beautifully written, this thought-provoking introduction to Eco-Scenography introduces ecologic design solutions that are urgently needed. It is inspiring and exciting and deeply considered work that I highly recommend be a staple in education and on your personal bookshelf.” (Eliza Sweeney, designer and eco-drama therapist)

“Tanja Beer’s Ecoscenography: An Introduction to Ecological Design for Performance is a field-defining book for performance scholars and practitioners alike. Beer coined the term Ecoscenography in 2008 and the book offers a lucid, accessible and inspiring account of both the theoretical and practical dimension of ecoscenographic approaches. Accompanied by exquisite illustrations, the book charts the conceptual underpinnings of Ecoscenography—‘ecological thinking’, the history of sustainable theatre design, finishing with a detailed description of Beer’s own framework for ecoscenographic practice. This is an important book for designers, performance-makers and anyone working in the performance sector interested in responding to climate emergency.” (Dr Kathryn Kelly, Lecturer in Drama, School of Creative Practice, Queensland University of Technology)