Applied theatre as a named field is still relatively new yet ‘the range of applied theatre practice is vast; it happens all over the world as part of a grassroots movement involved in social change and community reflection’ (Prendergast & Saxton, vi: 2009). This article explores the underlying teaching philosophies inherent in the published course descriptors of a sample range of eight graduate/postgraduate programmes in applied theatre across three countries. The selection of these programmes, although somewhat random, has been based upon their prominence within academic parlances and those that provide programme documents in English. Consequently the representative sample survey is across one cross-section of postgraduate provision and is analysed in order to extract a range of philosophical themes underpinning learning and teaching. In distilling these philosophies the article presents a discussion of how the subject knowledge of applied theatre work ranges from ‘discovered’ to ‘constructivist’ in nature. In Ross W. Prior 40 turn these themes are interrogated against published research in the field and postulate on how applied theatre programmes might further consider the ways in which they adequately prepare their students as future artist-educators to work in this diverse and challenging field. An outcome of the survey revealed grand claims made in the published programme descriptors.
The letter “Father Berrigan Speaks to the Actors from Underground” suggests the conception of a radical theatre, intended as a contribution to a cultural front against the US government during a time of the escalation of the war in Vietnam. The letter was prepared further to Berrigan’s dramatization of the trial in which he and fellow anti-war activists were arraigned for their public burning of draft cards in 1968. The play was The Trial of the Catonsville Nine and its production coincided with a period in which Berrigan, declining to submit to imprisonment, continued his ministry while a fugitive.
The creative application of digital technologies is accelerating as artists, designers and technologists continue to experiment and explore ways to create new aesthetic fields, semantically enhanced communication and innovative relations between people and machines. Our virtual worlds meet the real material world through the interdisciplinary research of computer scientists, digital media technologists, artists, designers and culture theorists. This paper will explore ways of bringing the virtual to the real through a range of differing conceptual positions and research approaches while demonstrating the creative interplay of variable media and online platforms for producing liminal works which cross the boundary between the analogue and the digital. The intent is to provide insights and examples of creative practice employing new technologies in innovative and unusual ways to generate exciting new work and offer new pathways for digital media research and development. The paper will present relevant theoretical frameworks and examples of current practice in the area of digitally enabled transitional spaces for artists, theorists and curators, as well as researchers working both in the field and beyond to those working with new technologies, social media platforms, and digital/ material culture.
Dalgleish, Mat; Payne, Chris(Group for Learning in Art & Design (GLAD), 2015-12)
The role of computing within the National Curriculum framework has changed dramatically in recent times. Traditionally, the computing curriculum in schools focussed on software competency and proficiency in common but basic tasks such as word processing, delivered through the subject of Information Communication Technology (ICT). In other words, students became perfunctory but perhaps uninspired end users, closely tied to ubiquitous commercial packages such as Microsoft Office. However, in September 2014, then Education Secretary Michael Gove made significant changes to the National Curriculum that affected both primary and secondary education in the UK. This has consisted in essence of an enforced shift from the prior ICT model to one that, at least in theory, embraces coding as a fundamental tenet of computing (i.e. active creation rather than end use, closely related to Rushkoff’s notion of “programmed or be programmed” ) and promotes computational thinking more broadly . For instance, Key Stage 1 now asks that students actively consider program structure and sequential design as well as demonstrate core competency . The inclusion of computational thinking seems particularly prescient and important: if the ability to cheaply outsource the drudgery of basic software development (particularly to the far east) may mean that the ability to code is, in and of itself, becoming less important from a UK labour perspective, it could be argued that students able to adopt a computational mindset, may be better prepared to apply computing principles to a range of scenarios.
Dalgleish, Mat; Reading, Neil(Institute of Acoustics, 2017-11)
Theatre conventionally relies heavily on the visual, for instance to convey narrative and context, and to set the scene. This reliance can significantly hinder the experience of blind and visually impaired people, and can in some cases exclude them entirely. Audio description for theatre attempts to make performances accessible for blind and visually impaired patrons by translating the visual aspects of a performance into a spoken commentary that fits between the gaps in actors’ dialogue. However, while 40% of UK theatres have offered at least one recent audio-described performance,1 its methods remain largely untested and potentially problematic. We describe the use of an ambiently diffused soundtrack as an alternative to audio description for theatre as part of a recent research project at the University of Wolverhampton. Informed by conceptualisations of the soundtrack posed by theorist-composers Michel Chion and Stephen Deutsch, our approach is to use an assemblage of informative and emotive sounds to provide a kind of auditory interface or "way in" to the performance. Crucially, the soundtrack evokes and implies but, contrary to audio-description, does not enforce a single rigid or fixed interpretation. Additionally, use of the house sound reinforcement system also removes the need for specialised and potentially othering personal equipment. The remainder of this paper provides background to the project and related work, outlines the theoretical basis of the project, discusses two trial performances and initial findings, and finally offers suggestions for future work.
Book: Sensual Religion demonstrates the value of paying attention to the senses and materials in lived religion and also leads the way for improved studies of religion as sensuality. Each of the five senses - vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell - will be covered by two chapters, the first historical and the second contemporary. The historical discussions focus on the sensuality of religion in ancient Greece, Samaria, Rome and Byzantium - including reflections on their value for understanding other historical and contemporary contexts. Chapters with a contemporary focus engage with Chinese, African-Brazilian, Sikh, First Nations and Metis, and Spanish Catholic religious lives and activities. Beyond the rich case studies, each chapter offers perspectives and arguments about better ways of approaching lived, material and performative religion - or sensual religion. Historical and ethnographic critical and methodological expertise is presented in ways that will inspire and enable readers to apply, refine and improve on their practice of the study of religions. In particular, our intention is to foreground the senses and sensuality as a critical issue in understanding religion and to radically improve multi- and inter-disciplinary research and teaching about the lived realities of religious people in this sensual world.
The article provides an introduction and context for this section of Against the Day, which analyzes the ongoing protests in Russia. The mainstream interpretations of Russian events create a stereotypical picture formed by liberal narratives as a struggle with an authoritarian regime waged by a rising urban middle class. The goal of the essays here is to challenge this view and demonstrate a different and radical perspective on the process. This introduction stresses several points important for understanding the protests: the prolonged effects of privatization and neoliberal “shock therapy,” the manipulative and managerial approach to politics in the ruling elites, and the highly specific and heterogeneous constitution of the emergent subject of struggle. It also gives further insight into the global meaning of the Russian protests as the result of an “overdetermination” of electoral procedures under the conditions of the regime of managed democracy and as an expression of the limits of any “really existing democracy” in the age of biopolitical governmentality. This introduction also highlights the engaged positions of the authors, who have been active participants in the protest movement.
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