Published: Jan. 7, 2018

Engaging Youth on Energy and Climate through Music, Movement, and Theatre

About the book: This book focuses on Shine, a musical performance about how energy, humanity and climate are interrelated.


Beth Osnes

Weaving together climate science and artistic expression, it results in a funny and powerful story spanning 300 million years. The first half is professionally scripted, composed, and choreographed to convey how use of fossil fuels is impacting climate.

The second half—our future story—is authored by local youth to generate solutions for their city’s resilience. In rehearsing the musical, participants themselves embody aspects of climate science and human development. Ultimately, it demonstrates that performance can be a dynamic tool for youth to contribute to their community’s resilience.

Osnes to discuss Shine
Thursday, Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Boulder Bookstore
1107 Pearl Street

Educators can use this book to guide youth in creative expression based on (or inspired by) Shine. Included are the script, links to the music and video of the performance, materials for building curricula, interviews with collaborators, and lessons learned along Shine’s year-long international tour.

About the author: Beth Osnes an associate professor of theatre and dance at the University of Colorado Boulder. She  is an applied theatre practitioner, a theatre scholar, and a solo performer.  She is passionate about using theatre as a tool for women to empower their voices for participation in the development that impacts their own lives and communities. She is a co-founder of Inside the Greenhouse, an endowed initiative on the CU campus to celebrate creative climate communication.


“An important guide for creatively engaging youth on the most critical topic our planet faces today - climate change. Youth not only have a right to be a part of building a resilient future in the face of climate change, they also have the passion and creativity to advance all of our thinking. This book provides practical tools and inspirational stories for involving youth in conceiving of a better tomorrow through the arts.

Dr. Victoria Derr, California State University Monterey Bay, USA

“Through co-created climate communication, Osnes persuasively advocates for the centrality of creative youth participation in building climate resilient communities.  In sharing her experiences of using collaborative creative methods, she facilitates an important and vital shift for climate communication and engagement strategies, towards the inclusion of young people’s embodied and place-based knowledge as central to achieving inclusive climate resilience.”

Professor Julie Doyle, University of Brighton, UK

“This is a project that rouses a sleeping giant — youth — to joyfully engage in authoring a new story for climate, energy, and resilience. It supports them in using their voice through art to act on the scientific knowledge that our climate is changing. This is an educational tool well-suited to anyone who trusts that youth need to be a part of our collective solution moving forward.”

James Balog, Director, Extreme Ice Survey and Earth Vision Institute