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Staging Social Justice
Collaborating to Create Activist Theatre
Norma Bowles and Daniel-Raymond Nadon
$35.00
Other Formats
Paper
0-8093-3238-8
978-0-8093-3238-0
328 pages, 6 x 9, 1 Illus.
6/3/2013

About the Book


Fringe Benefits, an award-winning theatre company, collaborates with schools and communities to create plays that promote constructive dialogue about diversity and discrimination issues. Staging Social Justice is a groundbreaking collection of essays about Fringe Benefits’ script-devising methodology and their collaborations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The anthology also vividly describes the transformative impact of these creative initiatives on participants and audiences.  By reflecting on their experiences working on these projects, the contributing writers—artists, activists and scholars—provide the reader with tools and inspiration to create their own theatre for social change.  

“Contributors to this big-hearted collection share Fringe Benefits’ play devising process, and a compelling array of methods for measuring impact, approaches to aesthetics (with humor high on the list), coalition and community building, reflections on safe space, and acknowledgement of the diverse roles needed to apply theatre to social justice goals. The book beautifully bears witness to both how generative Fringe Benefits’ collaborations have been for participants and to the potential of engaged art in multidisciplinary ecosystems more broadly.”—Jan Cohen-Cruz, editor of Public: A Journal of Imagining America


Authors/Editors

Norma Bowles is the artistic director of Fringe Benefits and the first recipient of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s award for leadership in community-based arts and civic Engagement.
 
Daniel-Raymond Nadon is an associate professor of theatre and LGBT studies at Kent State University and U.S./Canada Fulbright and Theatre for Social Justice scholar. 

Reviews

“A compelling array of methods for measuring impact, approaches to aesthetics (with humor high on the list), coalition and community building, reflections on safe space, and acknowledgment of the diverse roles needed to apply theatre to social justice goals. The book beautifully bears witness both to how generative Fringe Benefits’ collaborations have been for participants and to the potential of engaged art in multidisciplinary ecosystems more broadly.”—Jan Cohen-Cruz, editor of Public: A Journal of Imagining America

 

Staging Social Justice practices what it preaches. The writers’ eloquent discussions, broadly applicable methods, and heartening outcomes offer a compendium of possibility and make tangible their faith in social transformation.”—Jill Dolan, Princeton University

 

“Fringe Benefit’s methodology for creating socially progressive devised theatre offers a clear and practicable model for any type of group work that wishes to move beyond traditional hierarchies. The case studies in this collection will stay with me and guide my own work.”—Daniel Banks, PhD, codirector, DNAWORKS; faculty, MA in applied theatre, CUNY

 

“Read this for an inside look at collaborative processes of making theatre that matters, theatre for change.”—Jan Selman, coauthor, Popular Theatre in Political Culture, Royal Society of Canada Fellow

 

“An essential tool kit for all citizens and artists who want to use performance to make the world better and our communities stronger.” —Tim Miller, performer and author of 1001 Beds

“Like a favorite teacher, Staging Social Justice positively touches so many aspects of the work we do in activist theater.  For the devised theater artist, the book confirms our work with a professional, courageous voice that simultaneously illustrates our scholarship while presenting tangible models to emulate.  For the non-theater reader, the book is like a ‘how to’ manual to apply to any discipline requiring structure for conflict resolution.  Thanks for reminding me of the importance of our work.”—Drew Kahn, Director, The Anne Frank Project, and Professor, Theater Department, Buffalo State College


"In the new anthology, Staging Social justice: Collaborating to Create Activist Theatre, Bowles and co-editor Daniel-Raymond Nadon have curated a series of enticing essays written by TSJI facilitators and collaborators whose collective writings extract and share practical wisdom gleaned from participating in the mayhem of this sometimes painstaking yet always dynamic process.  Emphasizing concepts such as “safe space,” “target audience,” “empowerment,” the “movable middle,” and “intergenerational collaboration,” the essays combine to make a convincing case for the efficacy of Bowles’ Theater for Social Justice as an accessible vehicle by which to implement social change on a grassroots level."—Darren Blaney, PhD, University of Miami


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