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Applied theatre : performing the future

By Andrea Baldwin

Abstract

Objective: This paper provides an introduction to applied theatre and performance as a body of practice that may enhance the wellbeing of Indigenous communities. Applied theatre forms are conceptualized along a continuum from ‘performance-oriented’ to ‘participant-oriented’. Participant reflections are reported from a pilot workshop in Papua New Guinea, as a contribution to the evolution of theory and practice of applied theatre for health promotion in Indigenous communities. -------- Methods: Twelve Papua New Guinean nationals engaged in health promotion participated in the workshop. Participants were invited to reflect on the potential application of the theatre forms for their own health promotion practice. The workshop was qualitatively evaluated through a focus group at the conclusion of the workshop. --------- Results: Participants identified specific theatre forms which they could use in their own health promotion practice. Several participants articulated a view that participant-oriented forms were more likely to influence health-related behaviour than performance-oriented forms, in their cultural context. --------- Conclusions: The theatre-for-development literature does not yet clearly articulate how specific theatre forms may be more or less efficacious in terms of influencing health-related behaviour across cultural contexts. More extensive research into this question will yield significant benefits in terms of focusing practice culturally

Topics: 190400 PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING, 170106 Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology, applied theatre and performance, health promotion, Indigenous communities, social and emotional wellbeing, theatre-for-development
Publisher: Informa Healthcare/Taylor & Francis
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1080/10398560902948506
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:32404

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