Applied Theatre


Applied Theatre: Aesthetics

Bloomsbury Publishing

Gareth White's introductory essay reviews the field, and proposes an interdisciplinary approach that builds on new developments in evolutionary, cognitive and neuro-aesthetics alongside the politics of art. It addresses the complexities of art and the aesthetic as everyday behaviours and responses.

The second part of the book is made up of essays from leading experts and new voices in the practice and theory of applied performance, reflecting on the key problematics of applying performance with non-performers. New and innovative practice is described and interrogated, and fresh thinking is introduced in response to perennial problems.

Applied Theatre: Development

Bloomsbury Publishing

At once both guide book and provocation, this is an indispensable companion for students and practitioners of applied theatre. It addresses all key aspects: principles, origins, politics and aesthetics in a concise and accessible style designed to appeal both to those who have recently discovered this sub-discipline and to experienced practitioners and academics.

Part 1 introduces the sub-discipline of Theatre for Development, its origins, principles and history, but also the theoretical and philosophical issues confronting the discipline and its relationship to contemporary politics, as well as considering its future role. Part 2 consists of seven chapters contributed by leading figures and current practitioners from around the world and covering a diverse range of themes, methodologies and aesthetic approaches. These include case studies concerned with sexual health education and HIV prevention drawn from practitioners working in Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Southern Africa, and China; studies of intercultural theatre in the Peruvian Amazon; a programme of applied theatre conducted in schools in Canterbury, New Zealand, following the 2010 earthquake; an attempt to reinvigorate a community theatre group in South Brazil; and an exchange between a Guatemalan arts collective and a Dutch youth theatre company, besides others.

'It was exciting to see established scholars such as Eugene van Erven, John O'Toole and Marcia Pompeo Nogueira alongside emerging writers ... In that respect the book truly embodies the concept of creative collaboration ... The material is accessible to both students and more seasoned practitioners ... The examples all raise interesting questions for those in or thinking about the field of theatre for development.' South African Theatre Journal

Applied Theatre: Facilitation

Bloomsbury Publishing

Applied Theatre: Facilitation is the first publication that directly explores the facilitator's role within a range of socially engaged theatre and community theatre settings. This book offers a new theoretical framework for understanding critical facilitation in contemporary dilemmatic spaces and features a range of writings and provocations by international practitioners and experienced facilitators working in the field.

Part One offers an introduction to the concept, role and practice of facilitation and its applications in different contexts and cultural locations. It offers a conceptual framework through which to understand the idea of critical facilitation: a political practice that that involves a critical (and self-critical) approach to pedagogies, practices (doing and performing), and resilience in dilemmatic spaces. Part Two illuminates the diversity in the field of facilitation in applied theatre through offering multiple voices, case studies, theoretical positions and contexts. These are drawn from Australia, Serbia, Kyrgyzstan, India, Israel/Palestine, Rwanda, the United Kingdom and North America, and they apply a range of aesthetic forms: performance, process drama, forum, clowning and playmaking. Each chapter presents the challenge of facilitation in a range of cultural contexts with communities whose complex histories and experiences have led them to be disenfranchised socially, culturally and/or economically.

'An excellent text for introducing undergraduate students to the principles and complexities of applied theatre facilitation. Highly recommended for anyone interested in how to practice and think about educational drama.' Matt Jennings, University of Ulster, UK

Applied Theatre: Performing Health and Wellbeing

Bloomsbury Publishing

Applied Theatre: Performing Health and Wellbeing is the first volume in the field to address the role that theatre, drama and performance have in relation to promoting, developing and sustaining health and wellbeing in diverse communities. Challenging concepts and understanding of health, wellbeing and illness, it offers insight into different approaches to major health issues through applied performance. With a strong emphasis on the artistry involved in performance-based health responses, situated within a history of the field of practice, the volume is divided into two sections:

Part One examines some of the key questions around research and practice in applied performance in health and wellbeing, specifically addressing the different regional challenges that dominate the provision of health care and influence wellbeing: how the ageing population of the global north creates pressure on lifetime healthcare provision, while the global south is dominated by a higher birth rate and a larger population under 15 years old.

Part Two comprises case studies and interviews from international practitioners that reflect the diversity of practices across the world and in particular differences between work in the northern and southern hemispheres. These case studies include a sanitation project in a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand in the 1980s, and the sanitation and rural development projects initiated by the travelling theatre troupes of a number of University theatre departments in Africa – Makerere in Kampala, Uganda; Botswana; Lesotho and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – which began in the 1960s. It considers the emergence of Theatre for Development's use as a health approach, considering the work of Laedza Batanani and the influences of Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed.

‘This collection adds rich new perspectives to ongoing debates about the cultural locations of health care, theatre, and power ... A highly valuable contribution to expanding the boundaries of this growing field.’ – New Theatre Quarterly

‘Emphasizing ways in which performance techniques can support the promotion of health care, Applied Theatre is a valuable, well-researched study on a topic of practical concern. Reconsidering established notions of how illness and wellness are broadly understood, the collection examines both practical and aesthetic concerns in reconsidering prevailing concepts. In part 1, Baxter (Univ. of Cape Town, South Africa) and Low (Univ. of London, UK), both specialists in applied theater, introduce the book and establish its goals. The chapters in part 2 are multifaceted: primarily geographical, they identify specific health problems facing populations in the “global” north (ageing citizenry) and south (higher birth rate, more youthful population), and the aesthetic and research means by which these “local” problems can be addressed. The more interesting parts of each chapter are case studies and interviews with artists and medical practitioners, many in the developing world, dealing with hygiene and sanitation concerns, rural development issues, and so on. Though pitched at practitioners using theatrical techniques in health care broadly defined, the volume offers fascinating angles on a little-explored subject that will interest readers in a variety of disciplines. Summing Up: Recommended.’ – CHOICE

Applied Theatre: Research

Bloomsbury Publishing

Applied Theatre: Research is the first book to consolidate thinking about applied theatre as research through a thorough investigation of ATAR as a research methodology. It will be an indispensable resource for teachers and researchers in the area.

The first section of the book details the history of the relationship between applied theatre and research, especially in the area of evaluation and impact assessment, and offering an examination of the literature surrounding applied theatre and research. The book then explores how applied theatre as research (ATAR) works as a democratic and pro-social adjunct to community based research and explains its complex relationship to arts informed inquiry, Indigenous research methods and other research epistemologies. The book provides a rationale for this approach focusing on its capacity for reciprocity within communities. The second part of the book provides a series of international case studies of effective practice which detail some of the key approaches in the method and based on work conducted in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the South Pacific. The case studies provide a range of cultural contexts for the playing out of various forms of ATAR, and a concluding chapter considers the tensions and the possibilities inherent in ATAR.

This is a groundbreaking book for all researchers who are working with communities who require a method that moves beyond current research practice.

'The practices discussed [are] radical and indeed vital for a South/African applied theatre research praxis.' South African Theatre Journal

Applied Theatre: Resettlement

Bloomsbury Publishing

The book offers a compelling combination of analyis and detailed description of aesthetic projects with young refugee arrivals in Australia. In it, the authors present a framework that contextualises the intersections of refugee studies, resilience and trauma, and theatre and arts-based practice, setting out a context for understanding and valuing the complexity of drama in this growing area of applied theatre.

Applied Theatre: Resettlement includes rich analysis of three aesthetic case studies in Primary, Secondary and Further Education contexts with young refugees. The case studies provide a unique insight into the different age specific needs of newly arrived young people. The authors detail how each group and educational context shaped diverse drama and aesthetic responses: the Primary school case study uses process drama as a method to enhance language acquisition and develop intercultural literacy; the Secondary school project focuses on Forum Theatre and peer teaching with young people as a means of enhancing language confidence and creating opportunities for cultural competency in the school community, and the further education case study explores work with unaccompanied minors and employs integrated multi art forms (poetry, art, drama, digital arts, clay sculptures and voice work) to increase confidence in language acquisition and explore different forms of expression and communication about the transition process.

Through its careful framing of practice to speak to concerns of power, process, representation and ethics, the authors ensure the studies have an international relevance beyond their immediate context. Applied Theatre: Resettlement contributes to new professional knowledge building in the fields of applied theatre and refugee studies about the efficacy of drama practice in enhancing language acquisition, cultural settlement and pedagogy with newly arrived refugee young people.

'What is particularly rare about this book is its complete tracking of one project (albeit divided into sub-projects) over time ... This concentrated and longitudinal focus is unique not only within Bloomsbury's excellent Applied Theatre series ... but within applied theatre studies more generally. ... This means that Applied Theatre: Resettlement is of equal value as a teaching text in terms of modelling large-scale project design and evolution as it is in terms of moving theoretical and methodological knowledge substantially forward in the area of applied theatre practice with asylum seekers and refugees.' Research in Drama Education

The Applied Theatre series is a major innovation in applied theatre scholarship, bringing together leading international scholars that engage with and advance the field of Applied Theatre. Each book presents new ways of seeing and critically reflecting on this dynamic and vibrant field. Volumes offer a theoretical framework and introductory survey of the field addressed, combined with a range of case studies illustrating and critically engaging with practice.