Impact - Performing Arts

Performing Arts - Impact


General context: The department’s commitment to applied theatre work is long-standing, and is firmly embedded both at undergraduate and postgraduate level; between 2008 and 2013, we have begun to develop applied performance work in all areas of the department’s work. Applied Drama projects have been conducted in Japan, Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. In addition, over the REF period it has sought to widen the impact of its work in a number of ways. Several case studies testify to a proven track record in the fields of applied drama, theatre in education and theatre for conflict resolution. This work is very much a part of the culture of the department; students at undergraduate level have been involved in theatre work in Malawi and Romania; in Britain, they have taken applied work to prisons and schools, and with other community client groups (one project involved the local traveller community); the Dance programme has a similar commitment to applied work (third year students have been involved in community dance projects); Dance students were also involved in a performance event to welcome the Olympic torch to Chester. As the department’s research culture has developed, staff in dance and in popular music have initiated work that aims to reach and to work with client groups outside of the academic community. This commitment is clearly reflected in the work of our PhD students - an indication of the department’s commitment to building and sustaining work that has an impact outside of Higher Education. There are several project example of impact areas: teaching of dance in Higher Education; research project on mumming which involves mumming practitioners and groups; organization of the multimedia Threshold arts festival in Liverpool; a project with Warrington Wolves rugby club, which is timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup in 2013 (when Warrington will host one of the participating clubs); PhD project that involves organizing and running a local youth theatre company as a part of research; projects with local Romany community; 2engage: a start-up applied theatre company supported by the department and university.

The impact work of the department is supported at departmental level; support is given to researchers in developing knowledge transfer bids, and staff development funds are available to researchers who wish to develop the impact of their work. Over the next research period, the department will aim to build on the successful impact of its applied performance work. Projects in train have been outlined above, but there is still considerable potential to develop impact strategies based on work done within the department.

Case studies: The Case studies include the longstanding work and projects on pretext based process drama in the professions and drama in education as cultural intervention. Case studies are conducted in Finland, Japan, Estonia, Spain, Palestine, Sweden and Romania. They include collaboration between University of Chester and number of international organizations and governing bodies. The two case studies submitted for assessment are very much embedded in the work of the department. Applied performance - that is, performance which seeks to be socially and culturally useful, and to intervene in the lives of its participants, has been a crucial part of the department’s activities for quite some time. Therefore, both case studies are also linked closely to the research culture of the department.

For more information on staff activities: read more