Dramaturgies of Participation Summit
PARTICIPATORY PERFORMANCE SUMMIT
7-9 April 2022
Dr. Jenn Stephenson and Mariah Horner (Queen's University) hosted the inaugural play/PLAY: Dramaturgies of Participation Summit for artist-creators and scholar-researchers of participatory performance in Canada from 7-9 April 2022 on Discord. Synchronous online sessions happened over three days (7, 8, and 9 April 2022). Each day featured 2 live sessions running 2 hours each. There were also various asynchronous online showcases and interactive activities and meeting spaces preceding and during the summit.
The intention of the summit was to bring together a select group of artists and scholars who share an interest in participatory theatre events in an interactive gathering. By participating in the summit, participants had the opportunity to . . .
- meet and talk to other people who are making and writing about participatory performance
- present their own work to the group (e.g. slideshow, video, written forms)
- engage with pressing issues in the field (e.g. ethical care for audience-players, safety for performers, tension between aesthetic value and political value of participation, risks and benefits of embodied experience, real-world implications and effects.)
- share techniques regarding logistical production and development challenges (e.g. audience communication, managing space, beta-testing.)
- publish archival documents of performance and performance responses in a public forum
- be supported in their explorations by a well-organized and respectful environment
- challenge the status quo and express dissenting views
- play with ideas through curated engaging and playful interactive working sessions
One specific planned outcome of this summit is a special issue of Canadian Theatre Review edited by Stephenson and Horner. The issue will feature critical essays, reviews, interviews, panel discussions, and visual documentation of performance. All summit participants will be invited to contribute in some way. The issue is slated for publication in Fall 2023 with submissions due to the press in early 2023.
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