This International Women’s Day, UN Women and the World are coming together under the theme of “Gender Equality today, for a sustainable tomorrow”, and call for climate action for women, by women.
To celebrate the day, Theatre and Dance NI quizzed Claire Murray, Head of Development and Marketing at the Lyric Theatre, Green Arts Collective Member and Vice-Chair of Theatre and Dance NI’s Board, on the women that inspire her and her own personal role in tackling climate change.
1. What 3 Women have inspired you throughout your life?
- Naomi Klein – At college I read her book No Logo and it effected me profoundly. Not profoundly enough, it turned out, as my first job after college was working with one of the world’s biggest brands Coca-Cola and I stayed in the corporate rat-race for almost 15 years. I currently suffer from corporate guilt and often wonder what would have happened if I had listened to Naomi.
- My sisters, plural. I’m cheating I know, but I have always loved having sisters – it gives you a great sense of sisterhood, sticking together, solidarity with women. My sisters are totally fierce and fiercely kind.
- Greta Thunberg. She inspired me back on the right path.
2. Who are your 3 Favourite Fictional Women from TV, Film, Stage or Literature.
- Calamity Jane
3. Your life story is being adapted for the screen; what actresses play you as a child, as you are now and you in the future?
- As a child – my daughter Elsie.
- Me now – Emma Stone
- Future – Julie Walters
4. What are your 3 Favourite Nature locations in Northern Ireland?
- Rowallane Gardens
- Bloody Bridge and the trek to Slieve Donard
- Castlewellan Forest Park
5. Someone wants to start addressing climate change – what 3 tips would you give them?
- Make it personal – give up meat, don’t fly, vote Green, make informed choices.
- Don’t be weighed down by personal responsibility. Remember, only seismic system change will make a difference. Lobby, ask questions, make noise.
- Don’t despair – keep going!
6. List 3 things you do well in addressing climate change.
- Small personal things – I don’t eat red meat, we only have one car, we walk to school, most of my clothes are second-hand.
- I run the Green Arts Collective
- I vote for the parties who prioritise climate action and climate justice.
7. Name 3 things you would like to do better in addressing climate change.
- I would like to use renewable energy to heat my home.
- I would like to use much less plastic.
- I should be more active in activism.
8. Why did you get involved with the Green Arts Collective and Theatre Green Book?
- “I really believe the theatre industry has a unique place in the pubic consciousness to mobilise to try to drive change. As John Butler said, “art can’t change the world, but art can change people and people change the world.” This is why I think collective action such as the Green Arts Collective, and the collective effort behind the Theatre Green Book is so crucial. There’s a lot we can do to inspire people. We’ve got our stages, but we also play a role in our local communities..”
9. Why should productions and theatres incorporate the Theatre Green Book?
- “The scale of climate change can feel overwhelming, but even minor interventions make a difference. And there are also major changes within the industry and within productions that can drastically reduce carbon emissions. From small to large-impact, the Theatre Green Book helps organisations navigate through them all. It’s an excellent and valuable resource.”
10. Finally, you can invite any 3 women to a dinner party – who is coming?
- Dolly Parton.
- Whoopi Goldberg.
- My dear Auntie Clare.
Thank you Claire for taking the time to chat with us – if you would like to read more about some of the organisations and initiatives mentioned, check out these links below:
- Green Arts Collective – Belfast, Click Here.
- Lyric Theatre’s Sustainability actions, Click Here.
- The Theatre Green Book, Click Here.
- UN Women and their theme for International Women’s Day 2022, Click Here.