Space Rebel Princess

    Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


    Building on Essex’s previous research into methods of engagement with live performance, Space Rebel Princess focuses on modes of interactivity and improvisation in child centred performance. The work explores gender bias in STEM subjects, illuminating females in the sciences as role models for young girls by casting a heroine inspired by Helen Sharman, the first person from the UK to travel to space.

    Adrian Turrell-Watts, Producer at Fittings Multimedia Arts, noted the visible sense of achievement children were left with post performance calling the show “Genuinely playful genius.”

    The show adapts methods developed by Viola Spolin to work with improvisation and loose structures, in which children can solve problems in a creative, spontaneous and interactive manner, to contribute innovative ways to invite choice, play, interaction, and creative ownership for its child audience. Developed in partnership with Middlesbrough Library, the performance promotes literacy through interactive games and play. Putting into practice Danish writer Beth Juncker’s theory on the dichotomy between theatre, which treats children as beings (artists and critics in their own rights) and becomings (the adults they will become), the work places children at its centre by drawing on children’s own approaches to making work, to create a work which can appeal to the children’s own aesthetic visions and imaginations.

    Commissioned by Middlesbrough Council, the work has toured for 3 years across the UK to major international festivals and theatres (audience number upwards of 5000). Through this project, new methods for inviting and developing interactions were understood which have impacted practice internationally through workshops delivered in Canada (two days of workshop for professional artists delivered through Young Lungs Dance Exchange), an article for The Dance Current, and a paper delivered as part of Critical Care: Audience in Interactive and Immersive Performance at London Southbank University.
    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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