Discipline-based political theatre solo performance "Acting Alone" - Artist-led research exploring boundaries of performer/audience relationships
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractOver the last seven years I have been drawn to making solo performance theatre inspired by true stories/verbatim material that both challenge me as an artist and as a researcher but also pose questions to audiences but can theatre contribute to social and political change? Acting Alone explores how solo/interactive performance might create “affect” as a tool for promoting social responsibility and political engagement. This paper will set out some of the responses to the performances from touring the piece both nationally and internationally, theoretical frameworks I have engaged with and what questions continue to drive my research. This piece is inspired by my research with artists and educators in refugee camps in the West Bank. The title “Acting Alone” provides a duality - that of acting vs activism – political intervention against the vulnerability of performing alone on stage - would I be alone at the end of a performance or would an audience join me in the conversation, a response to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Originally commissioned by Amnesty International (Derbyshire) Acting Alone is informed by performance efficacy and participatory engagement theory. In its exploration of the complex situation faced by those living in Palestine, Acting Alone challenges the theatrical conventions often experienced by audiences. It invites them to interact: to cross the dramaturgical divide and create an ending where no-one, including the performer, knows the resolution. In a unique performance style, tales are woven together, personal stories and folklore tales offer insight and reflection but ultimately the piece poses questions -at times of conflict, do we take action? Whose side are we on? What are we willing to risk? And can one person make a difference?
CitationHunt, A (2016) 'Disicpline-based Political Theatre Solo Performance "Acting Alone" - Artist-led Research Exploring Boundaries of Performer/Audience Relationships' [Presentation and performance]. Presenting the Theatrical Past, Stockholm University, 13-17 June.