Deadline: Tuesday 16 April 2019
TaPRA Applied and Social Theatre Working Group
Call for Papers
University of Exeter, 4th – 6th September 2019
WG convenors: Michael Carklin (University of South Wales), Kay Hepplewhite (Northumbria University), Matthew Jennings (Ulster University), Zoe Zontou (Liverpool Hope University)
Theorising Horizons of Possibilities, Openings, and Futures in Applied Theatre PracticeOur working group conference theme this year focuses on the themes of ‘possibilities’, ‘openings’ and ‘futures’. We are building on last year’s events in which we explored ideas of ‘risk and vulnerability’ and the joint interim event with the Theatre, Performance and Philosophy WG on the theme of ‘Magic, Exits/Endings and Water: How does performance escape?’ Our focus is now shifting towards a theorising of ideas that seem so prevalent, and indeed urgent, in the context of contemporary social, political and global precarity. In response to exits and endings, the ASTWG will focus on possibilities, openings and what lies ahead to look (in)to the future of applied and social theatre. The past is important to the future and to now; Hughes and Nicholson’s Critical Perspectives on Applied Theatre notes that applied theatre’s largely undocumented history is significant to socially engaged art of the present. They frame applied theatre as an ecology of practices concerned with a reciprocity of the material and the human. Their book presents a context of ‘inequitable distribution of wealth, and the political implications of understanding the material world as an active force in everyday life’, as well as concern for ‘the sensory, embodied, affective and place-based qualities of applied theatre’ (2016: 9). This echoes Berardi’s (2017) notion of ‘Futurability’ by which he refers to our capacity for imagining beyond our current parameters as a way to remember that even within the darkness of our current crisis, the horizon of possibility lies dormant. We also draw on Gallagher and Freeman’s (2016) book In Defence of Theatre and their responses to ‘audacious’ question: ‘why theatre now?’ For the TaPRA Conference at the University of Exeter in 2019, we would like to explore theoretical underpinnings and binary concepts of ending and beginning, with a focus on opening and possibility. Performances are welcome. Indicative questions to consider for proposals may include, The future:
Please note: only one proposal may be submitted for a TaPRA event. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Participation. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the event; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the event venue.