'Challenging concepts of “liquid” place through performance practices in community contexts’ was a research project, 2011-2014, led by Professor Sally Mackey at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, with co-investigators Professor Mike Pearson and Margaret Ames from Aberystwyth University.
They worked with three partner arts organisations:
Using a range of drama and performance activities with each organisation, the research asked:
The projects stimulated conceptual frameworks together with models of practice for further dissemination. This was summarised on the Performing Places website which was launched at the Performing Places Symposium on 9 October 2014.
The Performing Places website also provided an ‘Outline of Place Practices’ as ‘facilitation’ material for other community arts organisations.
The Performing Places website was introduced and explained to an audience of more than 75 people during the Performing Places Symposium held on 9 October 2014 at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
The website is a comprehensive representation of the research project and its activities, clearly illustrated with the help of video clips and annotated comments for external use.
Practitioners who attended the Performing Places symposium found this website very useful and some have directed practitioner colleagues and students towards it. The Performing Places website, and its speakers, have been cited in, for example, blogs towards A New Direction’s work on Place (Judge 2014), and ongoing PhD Research for the Understanding Everyday Participation - Articulating Cultural Values (UEP) project’ (Webber 2014a, Webber 2014b).
Speakers at Performing Places have also:
Professor of Performance Studies
Unless stated, these are authored by Mackey.
Several of these outputs are available to read here.
‘Performing Location: Place and Applied Theatre:’ in Hughes, J. and Nicholson, H. (eds.) Critical Perspectives on Applied Theatre, Cambridge University Press.
Invited speaker at Border Stories – From there to here. How innovative research into personal experiences can help the EU address intra mobility and third country migration, London Higher (Europe), Brussels, Belgium.
‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Researcher’, provocation for Theatre Applied: Centre for Research in Performance and Social Practice, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.
Ames, M. (2015) ‘Dancing Place/Disability’, Theatre Research International, Vol. 40, No. 2: 170-185.
Invited keynote speaker, ‘Creative practice for change: a micro-example of people and places’, Cultural Engagement, Policy, and Practice Research, University of Leeds, symposium.
Performing Places website launch
Performing Places symposium
A symposium for arts industry professionals sharing place practices and the launch of the Performing Places website.
Plenary speaker (with Sarah Cole), ‘A Home fit for Heroes?: Performing Carer Landscapes’, Theatre and Performance Research Association Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London.
'Challenging Liquid Place Through Two Urban Performances', paper for Ludus Symposium - Performance, Place, Possibility, University of Leeds
Mackey delivered a paper for this symposium, chaired a panel and contributed to the plenary where documentation of and reflection on two parts of the project were shared.
Challenging Place Half Moon Website
This website, evidencing and articulating the particular part of the research project conducted at Half Moon Theatre, was submitted as an outcome for the REF (Research Excellence Framework) in October 2013. www.challengingplacehalfmoon.org
Oldham Theatre Workshop Intensive
The first phase of work with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants at Oldham Theatre workshop culminated in an intensive 4 day workshop with the participants. The process was fully documented and interviews with participants conducted.
Capel: the Lights are On, performance at Capel Bronant, Aberystwyth
Oldham Theatre Workshop Funding for Continuation of Project
Oldham Theatre Workshop applied for, and received, funding for a continuation of the migrant, refugee and asylum seeker workshops beyond the research project. This research project was the first time Oldham Theatre Workshop worked with this client group and the funding bid built on this new initiative.
'Challenging Concepts of Liquid Place' talk as part of 'Porous Dramaturgy' network, University of Kent
Mackey was invited to speak as part of the AHRC-funded ‘Porous Dramaturgy’ network between Kent and Exeter Universities on 'Challenging concepts of ‘liquid’ place'.
Talk as part of 'Pour/Ous Place' research seminar at University of Manchester
Mackey spoke about the research project at staff/student seminar at the University of Manchester.
Keynote, 'The Arts Faring Well', STEP Conference 2013, Canada Water Culture Space.
Workshops at Oldham Theatre Workshop with Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Workshops with refugees and asylum seekers have taken place as initial stages of the practice as research project at Oldham Theatre Workshop.
'Our Town' - Oldham Theatre Workshop Social Media Opera
Oldham Theatre Workshop are utilising their social media soap opera, ‘Our Town’ in relation to the research project. A ‘storyline’ was commissioned about a refugee family moving into ‘Millwood’ and emplacing themselves.
'It's A Ghost: The Uncanny in Rural Welsh Identity' by Margaret Ames
Article in Studies in Theatre and Performance Vol.33, reflecting upon material experiences of life in rural Wales and the introduction of 'ghost' within the performance processes of Capel: The Lights are On.
Paper, 'Two Aberystwyths', PSI Conference University of Leeds
Mackey delivered a short paper reflecting on the project work done in Aberystwyth as part of a panel with Gerry Harris and Roberta Mock entitled: ‘Dis-connected communities? Relational performances and cultural inarticulations’.
Place, performance at Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, Limehouse, London What is place? How do we think about place?
'Challenging Place' talk for Exchange for Change symposium, Half Moon Theatre
Research Assistant, Jo Scott, gave a presentation detailing the project to date as part of the Exchange for Change symposium at Half Moon Theatre, London.
Invited speaker at Universities of British Columbia and Victoria, Canada
At the end of March, 2012 Professor Sally Mackey was invited to give two guest lectures to staff and graduate students at these universities about the Place project.
'Challenging Places: Performance and Discomforts', talk at University of Cape Town
A talk and seminar about the Challenging Place research project, delivered to staff, research and MA students at the University of Cape Town.
'Challenging Place' - Guest speaker at Place, University of West of England
Mackey was invited to be the guest speaker at the PLaCE research centre at UWE in January 2012.
Challenging Place 'Live Poster' at Tapra Conference
Mackey gave a ‘live poster’ on the first Stage/Outcome of the two-day research project planning intensive. This focused on ‘collaborative methodology: a resource for research’ and articulated some of the opportunities available in a joint process of this nature and how the group endeavoured to share knowledges.
Performing Landscapes: Home, London, Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming 2019-20)
Mackey, S. & Heddon, D. (eds.) (2015) Performing Landscapes, a new book series offering a critical study of generic and complex sites for performance including forests, ruins, home, fields, islands and mountains. (forthcoming)
'It's A Ghost: The Uncanny in Rural Welsh Indentity' by Margaret Ames, January 2013 - This article reflects upon material experiences of life in rural Wales and the introduction of 'ghost' within the performance processes of Capel: The Lights are On
This current project was preceded by Performing Place also funded by the AHRC
The following video is also available from the Performing Places homepage. It has been used for dissemination to local councils, for example.
In addition, the websites identified above contain several videos.