Applied theatre by Prof John OToole


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A presentation by Prof John O'Toole (Griffith University and University of Melbourne) about Applied Theatre.

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Applied theatre by Prof John OToole

  1. 1. APPliED Til EDramatic and theatrical performancefor specific purposes besides entertainment usually taking place beyond conventional theatres usually involving interactivity
  2. 2. __ PO TIIEATR nD nEntertainmentEducation// EdificationCelebration// AffirmationCritique// Levelling
  3. 3. CES Of TIIEATRE & RA what the ofte- Positive InterrogativeComfort DiscomfortReassurance DisturbanceTruths UncertaintiesAffirmation AlternativesStatus quo ChangeCelebration CritiqueAnswers QuestionsMessages Open ends
  4. 4. I STORY IPPII ITR Education // edificationChildrens play, medieval mystery, didactic theatre Maoist theatre & opera Celebration// affirmationGreek tragedy, soap opera & sitcom, village fetes Independence day parades Critique II levelling Satirical comedy, commedia, protest theatre carnivals
  5. 5. t h nt yp RJMeyerhold, Piscator, Brechtdrama for social usesJacob Moreno >> roleplay trainingpsychodrama, socio-dramaUS & Canada - Drama for self-expressionWard et al • creative dramatics, readers theatreUK & Aust, Canada, Sweden: Social drama - DiESlade, Way, Heathcote & Bolton, process dramaUS Fringe 60s-80sBread & Puppets, San Francisco Mime TroupeUK Fringe 50s-80sParticipatory TiE, Community theatre, Welfare State, Popular theatre(Hunt, McGrath), Interaction (Berman)Augusto BoalTheatre of the oppressed, Liberation theatre, Invisible theatreTheatre for DevelopmentPETA, Ngugi wa Thiongo/WamiiriTheoristsBond, Schechner, Boal, Bolton et al, Mlama, van Erven
  6. 6. .iE TER l APPliED TilER E Co-coined simultaneously 1994 (?) Griffith University, Brisbane: BA in Applied Theatre 1994, Centre for Applied Theatre Research 1998 University of Manchester: Centre for Applied Theatre Research 1994/5 From 1998 many otherseg. Ackroyd (ATR Journal) 2000, Exeter University MA 2003
  7. 7. p TIIE Communal // community Personal // individualsPedagogical II education & training Corporate // commercial
  8. 8. 0 applied MDOIQIU ,,. community need1Community theatreCelebrating, giving community a voice, voicing concernsTheatre for development (TfD)HIV, sanitation, environment, democracy, genderProtest theatreSatire, agitprop, demo performance, carnivalsTheatre of the oppressedGiving a voice, empowerment, literacyPrison theatreSelf-esteem, telling valued stories, rehabilitationTheatre for traumaChildren in war zones, post-natural disaster, rebulildingDramatised liturgy & ritesOrganised religious observance, evangelismParades & ProcessionsGovernment parades, demo marches
  9. 9. ontem.,oraru a.,plied lne per1onal need1DramatherapyPsychodramaAccess theatreStress workshopsCommunication workshopsTrauma management
  10. 10. ntem.,oraru ap.,lied I Q~l· corporate aeed1Promotional theatreOpenings, municipal celebrations, product promotionsMuseum theatre & cultural tourismeg Culloden, IWM, St Helena, Dreamworld, TjapukaiConference themingmeet & greet, opening performances, workshop interventions,mock keynotes, dinner entertainmentPlayback theatrePost-conference, bonding seminarsManagerial I employee workshopsStress, communications, teamwork
  11. 11. ontempotaty apnlied theatre p•dago9ical purpo1•1Role-play training & education Simulations for policy & planning , adult training , army exercisesDramatic pedagogy Drama and theatre in education, drama across the curriculum
  12. 12. PSThe baggage trapThe over-ambition trapThe patronage trapThe ethical trapThe backfiring trap
  13. 13. 1YOIDiftG TilE BAGGAGE TRIP(Your clients come with preconceptions about drama) Start where your clients are at Understand & listen to their needs Find forms that they can cope with Find a hook to engage them Prepare meticulously Give them time Give them time Give them time
  14. 14. 0 I TilE OYER·IIIBITIOR TRIP(Your own ideals and plans outstrip your understanding and skills)Understand your art:Have sufficient drama & theatre skills (performance & production & timing)Be able to create and manage applied theatre form (playwriting & directing & design & montage)Understand your context:Be able to understand your clients needs (and their context)Be able to identify the aesthetic potential (of clients & context)Be able to manage the elements of the context (time/production/logistical management &/or pedagogy)
  15. 15. YO IDin PATROnAGE TRIP (We who have and who know will help you who neither know nor have and therefore need us)Knovv whether, when and why you are wantedListen to your audienceSet out to fulfil their needs [not your own]Start where your audience/clients are atUnderstand their needsFind forms that they can cope withFind a hook to engage themPrepare meticulouslyGive them timeBe open with clients throughoutCheck with advisory panel or (very) critical friends
  16. 16. AYOI l nG T, i I ETIIICAl TRAP Drama and theatre are morally neutral and can be used for good or ill Do no harmDramas stances mean it can offer order or change(reinforce orthodoxy by answers or undermine it with questions)However: no risk and pain, no gain! So consider in advance Is this worth doing (taking risks)? Why? Identify the stakeholders, positive and negative Who will gain? Who might lose? Do the potential benefits appear to outweigh potential damage? Do a SWOT analysis or similar: What are the projects strengths? What are Its weaknesses? What are the opportunities? What are the threats?
  17. 17. DinG IE BACKfiRinG TRIP(The project is not doing what it set out to, or is doing something else) Take measures to avoid the last four traps! Be able to recognise when it is backfiring Be flexible, honest and humble Be ready to pull the plug (but not too ready) Reflect with your clients & build from the wreckage "No [applied theatre] is ever a failure" Bolton "Experience [in applied theatre] is what you get when your clients are looking for something else" Anon.
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