University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Heroism and Adventurism: Can Applied Theatre Practices Give Participants the Experience of Being the Heroes and Heroines of Their Own Stories?

Reeves, Alison ORCID: (2014) Heroism and Adventurism: Can Applied Theatre Practices Give Participants the Experience of Being the Heroes and Heroines of Their Own Stories? In: TaPRA (Theatre & Performance Research Association) 2014 Annual Conference, 3rd - 5th September 2014, Royal Holloway campus, Egham. (Unpublished)

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Move on Up! is part of a series of widening participation interactive Theatre in Education programmes at The University of Worcester, designed to raise educational aspirations. It was conceived for year 6 pupils about to go up to secondary school, to reflect on this transition and the challenges and pitfalls it presented to them.

I searched for stimulus material to create the dynamic of an adventure story that reflected and generated the excitement and fear of change. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne provided the structure of this classic genre with characters stranded on a desert island.

Directing a team of four student actors and a stage manager I sought to promote the heroic ideal of using the skills needed to survive against adversity and to transpose it to a school context. The four characters discover talents and interests on the year 6 school trip and they endeavour to become the best version of themselves at their secondary school where these attributes have to be tested in a new environment.

Using interactive voting software helped to determine whether pupils could achieve the sense of control and ownership outlined in Boal’s theatre practice. The programme provides a number of points of intervention where participants could vote and influence the shape of the character’s stories and perhaps create heroes or anti – heroes depending on the decisions they make.

Boal wants participants to become the outspoken protagonists of their own stories or specactors. This paper will investigate whether applied theatre practice can give participants a heroic experience by exploring the process of creating Move on Up! and the response to the programme from year 6 pupils in West Midlands schools.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Theatre in Education, applied theatre practice, stories, heroes, heroines
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Arts
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Depositing User: Alison Reeves
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 11:36
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:14

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