Audience Participation, Aesthetic Distance and Change: Reflections on Fifty Square Feet, a Theatre-in-Education Programme on Urban Poverty
Drawing on her reflections of a Theatre-in-Education (TIE) programme devised and performed for teenagers in Hong Kong on global citizenship education, the author discusses how her TIE team attempted to use audience participation and aesthetic distance to bring about change in young audiences raised in a mainstream culture that sees development as narrowly defined in terms of economic growth. The article documents the process of devising, implementing and evaluating the TIE work, and critically reflects on the artistic choices made at different stages of the work by constantly referring back to its educational goals. Throughout the process, the author and her team considered and experimented with various kinds of audience participation forms to achieve the optimum balance between engagement and distancing to facilitate learners' understanding of poverty issues, arouse social awareness and empower young people to become informed citizens with agency for change.
Applied Theatre Researcher
Education not elsewhere classified