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Performance and Community

edited by Caoimhe McAvinchey

DOI: 10.5040/9781408166505

ISBN: 9781408146422

Performance practice in community settings is an established part of the cultural landscape. However, this practice is frequently viewed as functional: an intervention that seeks to solve, educate or heal. Performance and Community presents an alternative vision, focussing, instead, on the aesthetic and political ambitions of artists, organisations and cultural producers committed to this area.

Through case studies, this edited collection gives unprecedented access to some of the leading organisations in the field, examining their creative processes and placing them in their historical context. In parallel, a series of interviews with individual artists explores their approaches and how they are re-shaped by the communities that they encounter.

Case studies include: the Grassmarket Project, the Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company, London Bubble, Magic Me and the partnership between the artist, Mark Storor and producer, Anna Ledgard; while interviews in this collection include: Mojisola Adebayo, Bobby Baker, Sue Emmas, Tony Fegan, Paul Heritage, Rosemary Lee and Lois Weaver.

An invaluable resource for students of applied, social, community and contemporary theatre practices, Performance and Community provides vivid evidence of the complex negotiations between artist and community that lie at the heart of this delicate work.

'The editor, Caoimhe McAvinchey, has assembled an eclectic collection of case studies offering a range of perspectives on intersections between performance and communities. [...] As a compendium of thought-provoking documents about significant practices, some of which are sparsely documented elsewhere, this is a very valuable resource particularly for undergraduate courses in applied drama and community arts.' Studies in Theatre and Performance

'Performance and Community does achieve McAvinchey's aim 'to examine and be more demanding of the possibilities for community' by offering a political and provocative smorgasbord of different practices and approaches which demonstrates what is possible in the field of community and performance. This is an excellent book for students, practitioners, and researchers alike and it is a delight to read.' New Theatre Quarterly