Wild Territories: Examining Urban Theatre Projects’ Recent Artist in Residence Theatre-making Work
Using Baz Kershaw’s framework and concept of ‘performance crisis’, this paper examines the ways in which Back Home, an all male cast theatrical performance about manhood, national identity and colonialisation, devised in residence and dialogue with community members of Blacktown, western Sydney, Australia, was a potentially efficacious theatrical performance. We discuss whether a very local theatrical performance committed to working with specific communities considered at the margins of society by the media and government departments has the potential to effect social change and to shape Australian culture. We argue that Back Home had the potential to be an efficacious theatrical performance as it brought people from a range of walks of lives to witness aspects of a specific community’s culture, to be challenged and offered moments of reflection. We also argue that beyond Kershaw’s potential efficacy, Back Home, proved to have a certain social and political impact on its community consultants and spectators.
Keywords: Australia, Communuity Theatre, Site, Community Participation
Ms Celina McEwen
Research Fellow / Lecturer, Centre for Popular Education, University of Technology, Sydney
Ms Alicia Talbot
Artistic Director, Urban Theatre Projects