Hunt, A. (2015) Acting Alone: Performance and the Political. Presented and performed at Performance, Politics, Protest, UCC, 4 September..
AbstractActing Alone is an artistic research project that has resulted in creating a solo performance funded by Arts Council England and University of Derby. This performance piece builds on five years of practice as research and unique enquiry using Applied Theatre techniques based on Hunt’s experiences in Palestine. The focus of this research will be to extend and develop the interaction between performer and audience extending the boundaries of performance as a political act of protest. Acting Alone invites the audience to interact: to cross the dramaturgical divide that explores political action and provokes questions around what is our responsibility to conflict as an international community? The structure places the audience in a powerful participatory position without confronting or exposing them. Acting Alone has performed at five showcase venues throughout the East Midlands receiving positive responses from audiences and also some controversial protestations. For some audiences, the piece was verging on being anti-Semitic. Heckling as well as heated challenges was experienced. However, Acting Alone presents a wide range of characters – Israeli, Palestinian and European all of whom offer powerful counter narratives. There is a rich musical soundtrack only—this is theatre stripped back, to draw the audience into a world that has to be created in its entirety in front of their eyes. The play is a personal story, at times heart-breaking and at times funny, that asks questions of theatre makers and audiences –what risks should we take? Can one person make a difference?
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Discipline-based political theatre solo performance "Acting Alone" - Artist-led research exploring boundaries of performer/audience relationshipsHunt, Ava; University of Derby (International Federation for Theatre Research, 2016-06)Over 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?
Children's construction task performance and spatial ability: controlling task complexity and predicting mathematics performance.Richardson, Miles; Hunt, Thomas E.; Richardson, Cassandra; University of Derby (2014-12)This paper presents a methodology to control construction task complexity and examined the relationships between construction performance and spatial and mathematical abilities in children. The study included three groups of children (N = 96); ages 7-8, 10-11, and 13-14 years. Each group constructed seven pre-specified objects. The study replicated and extended previous findings that indicated that the extent of component symmetry and variety, and the number of components for each object and available for selection, significantly predicted construction task difficulty. Results showed that this methodology is a valid and reliable technique for assessing and predicting construction play task difficulty. Furthermore, construction play performance predicted mathematical attainment independently of spatial ability.
Math anxiety, intrusive thoughts and performance: Exploring the relationship between mathematics anxiety and performance: The role of intrusive thoughtsHunt, Thomas E.; Clark-Carter, David; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (2014-08-21)The current study examined the relationship between math anxiety and arithmetic performance by focusing on intrusive thoughts experienced during problem solving. Participants (N = 122) performed two-digit addition problems on a verification task. Math anxiety significantly predicted response time and error rate. Further, the extent to which intrusive thoughts impeded calculation mediated the relationship between math anxiety and per cent of errors on problems involving a carry operation. Moreover, results indicated that participants experienced a range of intrusive thoughts and these were related to significantly higher levels of math anxiety. The findings lend support to a deficient inhibition account of the math anxiety-to-performance relationship and highlight the importance of considering intrusive thoughts in future work.