33 - Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies
Output has been delayed by COVID-19
COVID-19 affected output statement
The publisher (Taylor and Francis) and the Journal Special Issue Editor have confirmed in writing that the Journal Article which is included in this portfolio should have been published in 2020, but was delayed by COVID-19 and was published in early-2021.
Number of additional authors
C - Digital Performance Research Group
Reserve for an output with double weighting
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
• to create a work with sufficient artistic integrity to function as a work of theatre in its own right.
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 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.