Acting alone

Other


Hunt, A. 2016. Acting alone.
AuthorsHunt, A.
Abstract

Acting Alone was written and performed by Ava Hunt with dramaturgy and direction by Tilly Branson. This creative and artistic research used autobiographical solo performance explored social/political engagement through the creation and structure of the performer/audience relationship. The piece used autobiographical, verbatim and documentary theatre approaches demonstrating the complexities of being an artist making applied theatre. The piece enquired into the risks of taking direct action or experiencing the fear and humiliation of inaction. Retelling Hunt’s experience in a refugee camp watching a piece of Playback Theatre performed by Palestinian theatre company – The Freedom Theatre, this witnessed event was returned to throughout against other intertwining narratives: presenting historical/heroic characters (Irena Sendler and Rachel Corrie) who took direct action, together with verbatim accounts of people that Hunt met in Israel and Palestine e.g. an outspoken UN Lawyer, a young Israeli soldier from Birmingham. The piece also contains four simple folk tales that are told to help to illustrate the historical and political complexities of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in an accessible form. Primarily, the piece explores human rights issues from a by-stander/international perspective by weaving participation throughout into a performance provocation, a space in which the audience were invited to cross the dramaturgical divide and engage in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict posing the question - can one person make a difference? Originally commissioned by Amnesty International Wirksworth, this applied theatre practice: Acting Alone toured throughout the UK and internationally performing to a thousand people in different communities, countries and contexts including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the Just Festival at St Johns Church, where it received critical reviews including: Five Stars from TV Bomb 2016: “Acting Alone .. ingeniously goes against audiences’ expectations regarding both the theatre art-form itself and the handling of the overly yet ineffectively debated topic of the sufferings of Palestinians.” Audiences engaged positively in the discourse created by this artistic research although for some the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is highly controversial and accusations of the piece being unbalanced were received, and the authenticity of the material questioned. Branson and Hunt responded to audience feedback where appropriate recognising that autobiographical and verbatim theatre offers alternative narratives offering audiences insight into Palestinian people’s experiences that are not widely reported. However, when critical reviews such as British Theatre Guide 2016 - Keith Mckenna said “….a thoughtful play given an engaging performance by Ava Hunt…..Theatre can help ensure that those suffering injustice are not isolated. The solidarity of those inside Palestine and those beyond make sure that those wanting change are not acting alone.” The tour enabled valuable primary data to be collected to support the research question creating discourse for audiences to enquire into the by-stander role as part of an international community.

Acting Alone was written and performed by Ava Hunt with dramaturgy and direction by Tilly Branson. This creative and artistic research used autobiographical solo performance explored social/political engagement through the creation and structure of the performer/audience relationship. The piece used autobiographical, verbatim and documentary theatre approaches demonstrating the complexities of being an artist making applied theatre. The piece enquired into the risks of taking direct action or experiencing the fear and humiliation of inaction. Retelling Hunt’s experience in a refugee camp watching a piece of Playback Theatre performed by Palestinian theatre company – The Freedom Theatre, this witnessed event was returned to throughout against other intertwining narratives: presenting historical/heroic characters (Irena Sendler and Rachel Corrie) who took direct action, together with verbatim accounts of people that Hunt met in Israel and Palestine e.g. an outspoken UN Lawyer, a young Israeli soldier from Birmingham. The piece also contains four simple folk tales that are told to help to illustrate the historical and political complexities of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in an accessible form. Primarily, the piece explores human rights issues from a by-stander/international perspective by weaving participation throughout into a performance provocation, a space in which the audience were invited to cross the dramaturgical divide and engage in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict posing the question - can one person make a difference?

Originally commissioned by Amnesty International Wirksworth, this applied theatre practice: Acting Alone toured throughout the UK and internationally performing to a thousand people in different communities, countries and contexts including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the Just Festival at St Johns Church, where it received critical reviews including: Five Stars from TV Bomb 2016: “Acting Alone .. ingeniously goes against audiences’ expectations regarding both the theatre art-form itself and the handling of the overly yet ineffectively debated topic of the sufferings of Palestinians.” Audiences engaged positively in the discourse created by this artistic research although for some the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is highly controversial and accusations of the piece being unbalanced were received, and the authenticity of the material questioned. Branson and Hunt responded to audience feedback where appropriate recognising that autobiographical and verbatim theatre offers alternative narratives offering audiences insight into Palestinian people’s experiences that are not widely reported. However, when critical reviews such as British Theatre Guide 2016 - Keith Mckenna said “….a thoughtful play given an engaging performance by Ava Hunt…..Theatre can help ensure that those suffering injustice are not isolated. The solidarity of those inside Palestine and those beyond make sure that those wanting change are not acting alone.” The tour enabled valuable primary data to be collected to support the research question creating discourse for audiences to enquire into the by-stander role as part of an international community.

KeywordsPerformance; Theatre; Refugees
Year2016
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/619804
hdl:10545/619804
File
File Access Level
Open
File
File Access Level
Open
File
File Access Level
Open
File
File Access Level
Open
Publication dates2016
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Sep 2016, 16:09
ContributorsBranson, Tilly (Other) and University of Derby
Permalink -

https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/94ywq/acting-alone

Download files


File
Hunt_Ava_Acting_Alone_MP.docx
File access level: Open

Acting Alone Image Simple.png
File access level: Open

license.txt
File access level: Open

  • 52
    total views
  • 34
    total downloads
  • 4
    views this month
  • 3
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Real For Me: Co-creation drama negotiating safe sexual boundaries
Hunt, A. 2022. Real For Me: Co-creation drama negotiating safe sexual boundaries. in: McAvoy, M. and O' Connor, P. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Drama in Education London Routledge. pp. 383-388
Social distancing without emotional distancing?
Hunt, A. and Wooster, Roger 2021. Social distancing without emotional distancing? Journal of Applied Arts and Health. 12 (3), pp. 393-401. https://doi.org/10.1386/jaah_00080_1
Creating community resilience: theatre for young audiences and the mental health crisis
Hunt, A. and Braverman, Danny 2020. Creating community resilience: theatre for young audiences and the mental health crisis. Drama Research.
Acting Alone: exploring by-stander engagement through performer/audience relationship
Hunt, A. 2019. Acting Alone: exploring by-stander engagement through performer/audience relationship. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. 25 (2), pp. 150-160. https://doi.org/10.1080/13569783.2019.1692652
Human rights, participatory theatre and regional publics: Acting Alone and A Story to Tell
Hunt, A. 2017. Human rights, participatory theatre and regional publics: Acting Alone and A Story to Tell.
A story to tell
Hunt, A. 2017. A story to tell.
Discipline-based political theatre solo performance "Acting Alone" - Artist-led research exploring boundaries of performer/audience relationships
Hunt, A. 2016. Discipline-based political theatre solo performance "Acting Alone" - Artist-led research exploring boundaries of performer/audience relationships. International Federation for Theatre Research.
Applied theatre solo performance: “Acting Alone” – artist led research exploring boundaries of performer / audience relationships
Hunt, A. 2016. Applied theatre solo performance: “Acting Alone” – artist led research exploring boundaries of performer / audience relationships.
Acting alone
Hunt, A., Branson, Tilly and Scott, Ivan 2016. Acting alone.
Acting Alone - Can one person make a difference?
Hunt, A. 2015. Acting Alone - Can one person make a difference?
Hunt, A. (2015) Acting Alone: Performance and the Political. Presented and performed at Performance, Politics, Protest, UCC, 4 September..
Hunt, A. 2015. Hunt, A. (2015) Acting Alone: Performance and the Political. Presented and performed at Performance, Politics, Protest, UCC, 4 September..
The kites are flying
Hunt, A. 2013. The kites are flying.
Drama in coalfields and paddyfields
Hunt, A. 2008. Drama in coalfields and paddyfields. Mailout arts and education.
Delivering drama: drama in education practitioner Ava Hunt on what it's like to work in a war-torn region
Hunt, A. 2008. Delivering drama: drama in education practitioner Ava Hunt on what it's like to work in a war-torn region.