Performance 'Training' in the Dirt: Facilitating Belonging in a Regional Community Musical Theatre Event

Burton, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2727-0030 and McDonald, Janet ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6006-4941 (2021) Performance 'Training' in the Dirt: Facilitating Belonging in a Regional Community Musical Theatre Event. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal, 12 (3). pp. 425-439. ISSN 1944-3927


Abstract

Community-engaged theatre projects are host to a complex dynamic set of tensions, particularly when volunteers from a specific community are partnered with visiting professional/industry artists or ‘systems convenors’. These tensions are given nuance in regional Australia, where community-engaged projects frequently utilise metropolitan-based artists to facilitate creation with local partipants, implicitly indicating that ‘regional’ may be conflated with ‘amateur’. The authors seek to interrogate the tensions at the heart of creating genuine rapport through the ‘training’ of un-trained participants in community-engaged projects. This paper focuses on one such project by the Queensland Music Festival, The Power Within (2017), built in collaboration with the Isaac Shire Council in central Queensland. In particular, the paper draws on the experience of one adolescent in the process: Sam, who credits The Power Within as beneficial in establishing his emerging personal identity. In this, the authors draw upon the work of Orr and Shreeve (2018) to demonstrate the relationship between personal and community identity. Further elucidation is gained through the work of Margaret Archer and Pierre Bourdieu to explore the deeply reflexive nature of face-to-face training in the unique environment of remote Central Queensland. This reveals the nuances at the crucible of atypical, informal and imposed training that can operate within community-engaged theatre projects in regional Queensland. Ultimately, for Sam, the key learnings from the project assisted in the establishment of himself as a professional make-up artist, an outcome entirely unpredicted by the creative leadership team tasked with collaborating with him. The authors posit it is this unpredictability that renders the training within community-engaged arts projects unique and bespoke.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Creative Arts (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Creative Arts (1 Mar 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2021 03:32
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2021 02:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: informal training, regional community theatre projects, identity, systems convenors, community-engaged theatre practice
Fields of Research (2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Fields of Research (2020): 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3604 Performing arts > 360403 Drama, theatre and performance studies
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130104 The performing arts
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19443927.2021.1943508
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43689

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