Act now? Making theatre for social action.
Active Inquiry is an arts company based in Leith, Edinburgh committed to creating exciting new theatre and arts projects with and for communities. The company has an established record of work which engages with excluded groups using drama. As well as extending theatre to new and non-traditional audiences, this work builds the confidence of participants and can result in personal transformation. Funded by Creative Scotland the Spect -Act project has involved work with groups from the Bethany Trust, Shakti Women's group and the Alma Project to create unique pieces of theatre exploring issues of relevance to their lives. But the question is ...what now? Recognising that many of the issues faced by individuals are structural, in the second year of the project, CUSP will explore with the company how this work can become community development which focusses on collective outcomes in relation to learning for democracy; to use the inquiry process which leads to created theatre to support the development of political literacy, democratic engagement and community empowerment. The exploratory process which leads to the creation of a drama performance will be systemised as Participatory Action Research involving members of the Active Inquiry company, academic partners and community members. Community members will be supported to become researchers and to research and act with their chosen communities for democratic social change.
Listen here to a live podcast in which the audience at the recent Spect -Act performances discusses the question of 'what now?'