By Helen Nicholson
Helen Nicholson examines the ways that drama and theatre were utilized to diverse neighborhood and academic contexts. She presents an outline of the theoretical techniques underpinning perform in utilized drama and theatre and examines a number practices within the gentle of latest theoretical and political issues. utilized drama has an intensive democratic heritage, and this publication explores how practitioners confront questions of group, creativity and citizenship in theatre that is oriented in the direction of social switch.
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Extra resources for Applied Drama: the Gift of Theatre
These examples illustrate the ways in which theatre provides a means whereby domestic issues might be brought into the public arena. The Cameroonian women used their experience of social citizenship to enhance their own status as civic citizens in the wider community, and this effectively reversed the trajectory of Marshall’s (Western) taxonomy of civic, political and social citizenship. They used theatre to raise awareness of their situations in ways that both showed their altruistic concern for the general welfare of the community as well as serving their self-interested desire for practical assistance and emotional support in their daily lives.
Mouffe’s vision of radical democratic citizenship acknowledges that identity is built on collective forms of identification, common struggles, shared principles and dependent social networks which are not simply enshrined in law, but extend to all aspects of social life. If there is, as I am suggesting, a relationship between citizenship and applied drama, it is not because there is one definitive theory or set of practices which command universal agreement. There are, however, recurring themes in applied drama which resonate with Mouffe’s vision 24 APPLIED DRAMA of radical democratic citizenship.
This observation takes me back to Chantal Mouffe’s description of citizenship as a process of identifications, a ‘collective undertaking’ in which a plurality of identities are recognised and legitimated rather than being ignored or privatised. Acknowledging that there is a reciprocal relationship between altruism and self-interest, between practitioners THE PRACTICE OF CITIZENSHIP 33 and participants, performances and audiences, has the potential to disrupt social hierarchies and to displace individualism with forms of citizenship that are more overtly social and collective.