New issue of Applied Theatre Research – out now!

Intellect is delighted to announce that the new issue of Applied Theatre Research (5.1) is now available.


For more information about this issue please click here or email


Articles within this issue include (partial list):


The ‘diverse economies’ of applied theatre

Authors: Molly Mullen

Page Start: 7


Some of the perennial tensions in applied theatre arise from the ways in which practice is funded or financed. They include the immediate material pressures and pragmatic dilemmas faced by theatre makers on the ground and the struggle to secure the resources needed to produce and sustain work or to negotiate the dynamics and demands of particular funding relationships. In the applied theatre literature, there are many examples of groups and organizations that have compromised their political, pedagogic, artistic or ethical principles to make their work economically viable. There are also ongoing debates about the nature of the relationship between applied theatre and the local, national and global economic conditions in which it is produced. These debates examine the extent to which economic conditions shape the forms and intentions of socially committed theatre movements over time. This article takes a practice-based approach, drawing on fieldwork conducted in 2012 with three applied theatre companies: Applied Theatre Consultants Ltd in New Zealand; C&T in the UK; and FM Theatre Power in Hong Kong. This multi-sited organizational ethnography generates critical insights into the ways in which these companies bring social and artistic values to bear on business models and financial relationships. Analysis of the companies’ practice takes seriously the aim of J.K. Gibson-Graham’s (2006) diverse economies project: to imagine and create spaces of economic possibility. Organizational, management and economic processes can be insidious technologies by which capitalist/neo-liberal ideologies infiltrate socially committed theatre and performance. But they can also be critically informed practices, involving considerable ethical consideration, creativity and care.


Applied theatre evaluations as technologies of government: A critical exploration of key logics in the field

Authors: Kelly Freebody and Susan Goodwin

Page Start: 23


This article aims to raise new questions for the field through the analysis of a set of applied theatre programme evaluation documents. The analysis of these three documents was undertaken using Bacchi’s (2009) ‘What’s the problem represented to be?’ (WPR) approach. This approach is increasingly being used for the critical analysis of public policy and social programme documents in a wide range of policy fields, but is not commonly utilized in the field of applied theatre. The WPR approach, it is argued, enables critical scrutiny of taken-for-granted representations of what applied theatre does, or can do, about social ‘problems’. Analysing applied theatre programme evaluation documents as representations of social ‘problems’ provides an opportunity to explore some of the deep-seated logics at work in the field.


Performing partnership: The possibilities of decentring the expertise of international practitioners in international Theatre for Development partnerships

Authors: Bobby Smith

Page Start: 37


Building effective global partnerships are a key focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will shape how international development looks until 2030. This article explores how international partnerships in applied theatre/Theatre for Development (TfD) initiatives are performed, and draws on the author’s own experience of being employed on a freelance basis by a non-governmental organization (NGO) to build on the skills of a Ugandan team to utilize theatre. Throughout the article, key moments during a month-long period of training are reflected upon and analyzed with reference to debates within international development, postcolonial studies and applied theatre. Through synergizing these debates, it is suggested that a decentring of Western ‘expertise’ enables more effective partnerships to emerge.


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