Motherhood in a Climate Crisis

Are the consequences of the climate crisis impacting your decisions?

  • Are you a mother worrying about the future for your child?
  • Perhaps you’re considering whether or not to start a family? Or exploring other ways to mother?
  • Did you decide not to become a mother, in part, based on the climate and ecological crisis?
  • Does thinking about a future family feel too overwhelming and you just don’t know?

Making decisions about family is not always easy but combined with the daunting consequences of climate change, the complexity multiplies.

Would you welcome being part of a group exploring these questions and telling your story?


Lifting the taboo on the intersection of these two topics, this project aims to shed light on the nuances playing out in the women around us. Through a care-filled participatory theatre-making process, a group of women will build up to sharing their stories at a live and recorded performance in Bristol in July. And that is just the beginning.


From the first phase in Bristol the project will ripple out into an online premiere later in the year, because these stories don’t stop here, this is a global issue. We aim to inspire and support rollouts of further theatre-making and performances in different parts of the UK and the world, growing a library of resources together with the heartfelt stories to put this conversation firmly on the map.

Bristol Storytellers needed

We’re seeking self-identifying women to join us on a deep and creative journey to explore your experience of living with these big questions. 

We invite you into an emotionally supported and well structured group process, to engage together in delving into this intense subject. We will provide a warm and supportive space for a diverse range of women with different stories to contribute and uncover.

This is not an exploration of the ‘right’ thing to do. Nor do we believe that the individual choices we make for our bodies should be framed as a climate solution. It is a non-judgemental welcoming of whatever each person brings. You will be held skilfully to develop and shape a performance monologue that tells your story to others and contributes to a global story of motherhood in a climate crisis.

We are looking for women who are 

  • Interested in exploring and sharing their experience in a strongly held group process 
  • Able to make all the dates of the project meetings
  • Up for performing their developed stories live and on video with a lot of support
  • Excited at the idea of being part of a courageous and creative process with other women who will have very different stories to tell
  • Open to being part of a non-judgemental group culture where we welcome and support all experiences

We have care and consent at the heart of this whole project. The group will be run by a very experienced creative director and a therapeutic facilitator working closely together. We have designed a process that holds deep care for the wellbeing of everyone involved in the group. At each stage of the process you own your own story. If you ever feel unwilling to share it then of course you will be supported to step out at whatever stage we are in.

Join us for an open session in Bristol on 22 May.

The team accompanying you are

Liz has extensive experience of co-creating work with non-actors. This includes Like There’s No Tomorrow, a National Theatre Connections project about climate responsibility and participatory theatre project Shame Shanties, a play with sea shanties about the secrets women keep.

Trained psychotherapist and member of the CPA, Jo has more than 20 years experience working with children and families particularly around bereavement, trauma and family stress. Recently she has added a specialism in how parents and schools can support children in the face of Climate Change.

Workshop Dates

You’ll need to be able to join all of the following sessions as we build up to a live performance.

  • Sunday 22 May 2022 10AM  – 5PM Open full day workshop
  • Tuesday 31 May 2022 6:30PM – 9PM Evening online workshop
  • Tuesday 7 June 2022 6:30PM – 9PM Evening online workshop
  • Saturday 11 June 2022 10AM  – 5PM Full day workshop
  • Sunday 12 June 2022 10AM  – 5PM Full day workshop
  • Tuesday 14 June 2022 6:30PM – 9PM Evening online workshop
  • Sunday 19 June 2022 10AM  – 5PM Full day workshop
  • Tuesday 21 June 2022 6:30PM – 9PM Evening online workshop
  • Tuesday 28 June 2022 6:30PM – 9PM Evening online workshop
  • Friday 1 July 2022 6PM – 10PM Full tech rehearsal 
  • Saturday 2 July 2022 10AM – 1PM, Dress rehearsal
  • Saturday 2 July 2022 6.30PM – 9.30PM Public performance
  • Sunday 3 July 2022 10AM – 1.30PM Reflection session
  • Sun 10th July – online debrief for cohort, afternoon session

All in person rehearsals and performances will take place at: 1532 Performing Arts Centre, Elton Road, Bristol, BS8 1SJ. Online workshops will take place on Zoom.

Are you interested? Next steps

Join the open creative workshop session on 22nd May 10am – 5pm.

It will be a workshop for women to explore and experience a creative theatre process around motherhood and the climate crisis. This is your opportunity to meet the project team face-to-face as well as other potential storytellers. It will be a deep and interesting experience in its own right. You’ll experience how Liz and Jo work and get to know each other. If you are interested in being involved in the whole project, you can confirm your interest. We are looking for women to work together towards the performance in July.

Final storytellers will be selected so we have a breadth of experience in the room. The theatre-making process starts proper with an online session on Tuesday 31 May at 6:30PM.

Please note: Selection for the full workshop programme is not a reflection of your ‘acting’ ability, nor is it a judgement on the importance of your story. For those that are not selected, there will be other ways that you can participate in the project as it develops and we would love to keep talking to you about ways to get involved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this project for?

This project is open to all self-identifying women and embraces motherhood in all its guises. We recognise that these terms can feel loaded and that people relate to them in different ways. Understanding and allowing space for this complexity runs through the heart of this project. The gendered expectations around parenting run deep and we expect to be surprised, affirmed and challenged by our storytellers’ different experiences.  We are still learning how to have these conversations and don’t expect you to be an expert in anything other than your own experience.

What is the project not?

This project is not

  • About population control
  • Claiming that individual reproductive choices will make or break the structural transformations required to tackle the climate emergency
  • About judging individual choices

How are you looking after group participants?

When applying, please consider the following:

Jo McAndrews is the therapeutic facilitator for the project and will be accompanying us all throughout the making process and performance, in tandem to Liz’ creative holding. However, Jo will not be providing individual, personal therapy for anyone that participates in the project.  We will be holding a compassionate, braver space to engage in practices that may bring up strong feelings and Jo will be providing embodied resilience practices to create supportive resources as we explore this work. We ask you to consider if you have the emotional and mental capacity to engage in the project. We will also take time to think collectively as a group about what we might need to support us in this time. If you have any questions about this or would like to talk more, contact Jo on [email protected]

What if I don’t feel comfortable sharing my story in public when it comes to it?

We will always be open to exploring creative ways to share your story anonymously or in another way that feels safe for you. We will check your consent throughout the project and  – you can of course withdraw at any time.

How is the project funded?

With thanks to Necessity and Brigstow Institute for supporting this project with grants and to With Many Roots. The live and online performances will be ticketed with a sliding scale to make the performance open to people with different incomes. Once we have covered our costs, additional ticketing revenue will go towards the next stage of the project, helping us to work with more women to share their stories across the UK and beyond.

Is childcare provided?

We have care and consent at the heart of this whole project. As part of this ethos of care, we aim to provide childcare support for those women who are parents and require this to be able to participate in the workshops. If this is a consideration for you, please get in touch with us so we can discuss how best to support you.

Funders & Champions

Motherhood is something of a double edged sword when it comes to the climate crisis. At the very point where we’re suddenly so much more aware of the future our kids might be facing, our lives are turned upside down and there’s no time to sleep, let alone think about trying to do things differently. We need to empower, enable and encourage mothers to share their worries and fears, as well as the tools that they’ve discovered that help them to parent in such uncertain times.

— Jen Gale, Author of Sustainable-ish Guide to Parenting

As more and more young people fall into states of anxiety, grief and dread about the future any child they may have today would have to live with in a climate changed world. We need spaces to talk about this with compassion and curiosity. The stakes could not be higher, the issue could not be more existential, and what we require for our own wellbeing is that these emotions can rise to the surface with support, preventing despair and unlocking wells of creativity and connection that can help us heal our tattered world.

— Dr Britt Wray, Researcher, TED Speaker

Interested in the project but not in Bristol?

Follow us on the socials @motherXclimate and use the project hashtag: #motherXclimate

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