In what would a postmodern theatrum mundi, or ‘theatre of the world’, consist? In an ironic inversion of the very concept, with the microcosm issuing a unilateral declaration of independence – or of incorporation? Or in a neo-neoplatonic recognition that it is but a cultural construct of an outer world that is itself culturally constructed? In the following article, Baz Kershaw makes connections between the high-imperial Victorian love of glasshouses, which at once created and constrained their ‘theatre of nature’, and the massive 'nineties ecological experiment of ‘Biosphere II’ – ‘a gigantic glass ark the size of an aircraft hangar situated in the Southern Arizona desert’, which embraces all the main types of terrain in the global eco-system. In the Biosphere's ambiguous position between deeply serious scientific experiment and commodified theme park, Kershaw sees an hermetically-sealed system analogous to much contemporary theatre – whose intrinsic opacity is often further blurred by a theorizing no less reductive than that of the obsessive Victorian taxonomists. He offers not answers, but ‘meditations’ on the problem of creating an ecologically meaningful theatre. Baz Kershaw, currently Professor of Drama at the University of Bristol, originally trained and worked as a design engineer. He has had extensive experience as a director and writer in radical theatre, including productions at the Drury Lane Arts Lab and as co-director of Medium Fair, the first mobile rural community arts group, and of the reminiscence theatre company Fair Old Times. He is the author of The Politics of Performance: Radical Theatre as Cultural Intervention (Routledge, 1992) and The Radical in Performance: Between Brecht and Baudrillard (Routledge, 1999), and co-author of Engineers of the Imagination: the Welfare State Handbook (Methuen, 1990).