Mind the Gap!
Foster, G., Workman, David, Santiago-Jirau, Alexander and Garratt, Andrew (2020). Mind the Gap! London South Bank University.
|Creators||Foster, G., Workman, David, Santiago-Jirau, Alexander and Garratt, Andrew|
The Mind the Gap! portfolio documents an ongoing practice as research project investigating the socio-cultural impact of an intergenerational theatre collaboration between LSBU, the New York Theatre Workshop and the Southwark Playhouse Elder's company. The research focuses on two key questions: firstly the ethics of engaging different generations within an intergenerational practice and secondly, how we encounter theatre at the intersection of community and professional practice. Specifically, whether performances developed from this practice can exist as theatre with its own artistic validity rather than simply an extension of the community practice it is generated from.
The portfolio contains documentation relating to an ongoing practice-as-research applied theatre project. This comprises video material, participant evaluations, performance documentation and an article published in the International Youth Theatre Journal: Special Intergenerational Theatre edition
|Keywords||Applied Theatre, Intergenerational Theatre|
|Publisher||London South Bank University|
|REF portfolio description|
Mind the Gap! applied theatre project is a practice-as-research collaboration between LSBU, New York Theatre Workshop and Southwark Playhouse. The project addresses the potential impact for participants through intergenerational collaboration in theatre. Whilst this topic has been widely addressed over decades in the UK, so-called ‘reminiscence theatre’ (Schweitzer 2006) can create imbalanced group hierarchies, privileging younger participants’ agency over that of their elders. This project therefore had two primary research aims:
• to correct this inequity by engaging all participants as artistic co-creators
In order to explore this, we applied a set of devising and rehearsal methodologies drawn from Liz Lerman’s critical response process (2001) and Moses Kaufmann’s ‘moment’ work (2003). In attempting this we encountered differences that had the potential to create an unbridgeable ‘gap’ but with the care of professional directors skilled at engaging community groups within a professional process the project achieved a mutually safe, supportive environment for all participants. Intergenerational theatre projects are often able to demonstrate impact in delivering socio-cultural and health benefits, but MTG! London went further, developing participants’ understanding and confidence in themselves as skilled, competent performers and, in the case of the students, as early-career professional artists.
As a result of this approach, the New York Theatre Workshop's MTG! project has undergone a radical transformation from its original format as an intergenerational playwriting programme. NYTW now also offer ‘The Performance Workshop’ developed directly from the partnership with LSBU. This new project has taken place in North Carolina, New Jersey, Santiago, Chile and in London again. The work is continuing, and the next step is to develop a new version of MTG! for early-stage dementia patients in collaboration with the charity, Arts 4 Dementia.
|Portfolio items||Mind the Gap! A transatlantic, intergenerational theatre project|
|Mind the Gap! Documentation|
|Mind the Gap!|
|Mind the Gap! Post-show evaluation|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||05 Mar 2021|
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