In this article, we consider the relationship between education and applied theatre, the growth of applied theatre curricula within Canada, the issues that presently we identify as 'productive tensions,' and political and social concerns that now frame the ways in which we shape and conduct our practice. Our thoughts and suggestions, while limited by those constraints we offered above, may serve to open a space for discussion on what is and what might be. In our view—looking back over two decades of development in the field of applied theatre programs in Canada—there are a number of tensions that have come into clearer focus as applied theatre has been finding its feet. We see these tensions as productive and offer them not as criticisms but as opportunities to reconsider methodologies in light of a post-dramatic world. Applied theatre programs tend to operate in theatre departments that mostly focus on training for independent careers in text-based mainstream theatre. Such an intention may make it difficult for some who see theatre as a path to careers different from performance and/or production. Certainly, the recent addition of applied theatre to university curricula has revealed some interesting pressures. The division between the hierarchical traditions of theatremaking, with the top-down approach of director-designer-actor-audience, may be beginning to shift with the advent of new thinking. The ways of working that are integral approaches to applied theatremaking require a broader interdisciplinarity of courses than those traditionally offered in departments of theatre.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 8-12
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.