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Research & publications

Applied Theatre: Facilitation by Sheila Preston

Applied Theatre: Facilitation is the first publication that directly explores the facilitator's role within a range of socially engaged theatre and community theatre settings. The book offers a new theoretical framework for understanding critical facilitation in contemporary dilemmatic spaces and features a range of writings and provocations by international practitioners and experienced facilitators working in the field.

Managed hearts? Emotional labour and the applied theatre facilitator in urban settings by Sheila Preston

This paper reflects on Arlie Hochschild's concept of Emotional Labour to investigate the emotion work undertaken by artists facilitating participatory arts in urban community settings. The discussion seeks to capture the emotional cost of ‘managing’ feelings to understand the resilient practitioner in wider political economies. This entails understanding the dilemmas of practice which include the practitioner's performativity, expressed through a complex negotiation of human responsiveness and the ‘professional’ role, in relationship with feeling rules. 

Back on whose track? Reframing ideologies of inclusion and misrecognition in a participatory theatre project with young people in London by Sheila Preston

The article explores the limitations of applied drama interventions promising integration and inclusion against the material realities of urban disenfranchisement and misrecognition. Through reflection on a participatory theatre project facilitated with young women in an urban secondary school in London, social and moral agendas emerge which reveal conformity to dominant narratives of social inclusion.

The Applied Theatre Reader by Sheila Preston and Tim Prentki

The Applied Theatre Reader is the first book to bring together new case studies of practice by leading practitioners and academics in the field and beyond, with classic source texts from writers such as Noam Chomsky, bell hooks, Mikhail Bakhtin, Augusto Boal, and Chantal Mouffe. This book divides the field into key themes, inviting critical interrogation of issues in applied theatre whilst also acknowledging the multi-disciplinary nature of its subject.