Space Rebel Princess

    Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


    Space Rebel Princess focuses on interactivity and improvisation in child-centred performance, drawing on children’s own approaches to making work, and building on and adapting playful methodologies developed by Spolin (1963 [1999]) and Junker (2018) to create original dance theatre around the story of Helen Sharman, the first UK person to travel into space. 

    This research specifically puts into practice Juncker’s theory on the dichotomy in theatre, which treats children as both ‘beings’ (artists and critics in their own right) and ‘becomings’ (the adults of the future). The project invites its audiences to claim creative ownership, constructing an empowering performance which appeals to their own aesthetic visions and imaginations. The work breaks down barriers to access that can exist in traditional theatre by removing staging and seating, and by including outdoor public sites, allowing audiences and performer to exist in a more neutral power structure.

    Space Rebel Princess has toured for four years to major international festivals and theatres across the UK, and its new methods for inviting and developing interactions have impacted live-theatre practice internationally, including through workshops in Canada for professional artists and dance educationalists, delivered through Young Lungs Dance Exchange, a Winnepeg-based network of independent dance and movement artists. As well as through participation in ’Out of the Frame: International Theatre Forum and Conference’ in Romania, which explored how experimentation in public space can radically impact work in more traditional venues. 

    Essex has also been invited to deliver conference papers at 'Critical Care: Audience in Interactive and Immersive Performance' (London Southbank University, 2018) and 'All Young Stories Symposium' (Keele University, 2019). Essex has published articles in ArtsPraxis (USA) an international journal on art in educational and community contexts; theatre periodical Játéktér (Hungary) and medium specific magazine The Dance Current (Canada).

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017
    EventGreenbelt Festival - Northants, United Kingdom
    Duration: 25 Aug 201825 Aug 2018

    Bibliographical note

    National tour including performances at: Young Fest at The Bluecoat, Sandbach Festival of Transport, Middlesbrough Library, TrAction Festival Crewe, Tram Sunday Fleetwood, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Mouth of the Tyne Festival, IncludFest, Greenbelt Festival, DN Festival, Microdot, Festival of Thrift, Waterside Arts Centre, Festival of Thrift


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