Introducing the project.
Outside the Box is an AHRC funded response to the Covid-19 pandemic, led by researchers from the University of Exeter. The project team is headed by Dr. Evelyn O’Malley (Drama), working with Prof Cathy Turner (Drama) and Prof Tim Coles (Business School). We will be working with civic partners in Exeter to identify public and privately-owned public spaces that might safely be used for open air performance, aligned with the environmental aspiration to Build Back Better in the Covid-19 cultural recovery. Following a period of scoping and interview research, we will be commissioning and programming live performances in lower risk, environmentally-sensitive open air settings, modelling approaches that move beyond the conventional audience configuration while allowing for live assembly and in-person encounters with performance and place.
Drawing on emerging and existing models of site-specific, dispersed, threshold and ecological performances, alongside practice-as-research with artists who have long-term experience and expertise in these genres, the project will consult with partners to identify the implications of the work for cultural strategy, environmental wellbeing and city centre management. A season of commissioned work in 2021 will make these innovative models more visible and contribute to the revival of live performance cultures in the region, as exemplars of sustainable cultural practice. This regional approach takes into account the vulnerability of an economy dependent on tourism, applicable in other parts of the UK. While open-air performance forms are to be the first permitted in a staggered cultural re-opening, merely replicating indoor models outdoors does not resolve key safety and management issues. However, innovative modes of engaging audiences out of doors have been evident in impromptu lockdown performances (e.g. in dispersed or durational work). These models have significant potential to contribute to cultural and environmental wellbeing.
- As we begin…We conceived this project back last summer and the offer letter arrived today, so we find ourselves in circumstances that have moved on, yet not in many of the ways weContinue reading “As we begin…”
- Introducing the team‘Outside the Box’ is initiated by researchers at the University of Exeter, working with civic partners and artists. Evelyn O’Malley leads the research team. Cathy Turner and Tim Coles are co-investigators.Continue reading “Introducing the team”
- Leaving the buildingTheatre scholar Rustom Bharucha’s talk on ‘Theatre and the Corona Virus’ comments ironically that New York’s ‘The Shed’, designed by Diller & Scofidio to be ‘permanently flexible for an unknowable future’,Continue reading “Leaving the building”
- Post advertisedThis position is now filled. We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate. This AHRC funded post is available immediately on a full time basis for eight months in the Department ofContinue reading “Post advertised”
- Call for artistsThis call is now closed. We are looking for four artists (or artistic teams) to produce original outdoor theatre/ performance/ live art works, to be open to members of the public in Exeter in July/Continue reading “Call for artists”
- Survey of artists working in the open air.We hope to take a wide and inclusive picture of outdoor practice across the UK. We know that artists have long worked with walking, street theatre, community events, interventions, promenade and publicContinue reading “Survey of artists working in the open air.”