Acting Together II

Acting Together II

Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict: Building Just and Inclusive Communities

By Daniel Banks; Kate Gardner; Mary Ann Hunter

New Village Press, Paperback, 9781613320006, 304pp.

Publication Date: December 1, 2011


Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict is a two-volume work describing peacebuilding performances in regions beset by violence and internal conflicts. Whereas Volume I, Resistance and Reconciliation in Regions of Violence, emphasizes the role theatre and ritual play both in the midst and in the aftermath of direct violence, Volume II, Building Just and Inclusive Communities, focuses on the transformative power of performance in regions fractured by "subtler" forms of structural violence and social exclusion. The case studies in this volume document examples from Afghanistan, Australia, Ghana, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United States. This volume also offers resources, tools, and recommendations to help educators, artists, students, policymakers, and funders alike to become involved with, and contribute to, the emerging field of peacebuilding performance.

The Acting Together project documents how divided communities in conflict regions across the globe draw on the power of performance to express silenced truths, rebuild severed relationships, and work toward justice. Born in 2005 of a partnership between the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University and Theatre Without Borders, the project grew to include the two-volume anthology Acting Together, the feature-length documentary film Acting Together on the World Stage, a website of related materials, and a toolkit, or "Tools for Continuing the Conversation," included with the documentary as a second disc and featuring practical guidelines and templates for further action. Taken together, these resources yield rich case studies, theoretical frameworks, and recommendations to help practitioners, educators, students, and policymakers understand and strengthen the emerging field of peacebuilding performance.

About the Author
Daniel Banks is a theatre director, choreographer, educator, and dialogue facilitator. Banks has served on the faculties of the Department of Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and the MFA in Contemporary Performance at Naropa University. He is the founder and director of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative that uses Hip Hop Theatre as a tool for youth empowerment and leadership training. Banks is also co-director of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization dedicated to using the arts as the catalyst for community dialogue and healing, and currently on faculty in the Master of Arts in Applied Theatre at CUNY. Banks is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Program for Directors. He has lectured throughout the US and has directed productions at prestigious international theatres. He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from NYU.

Kate Gardner is an artist and founder/director of Community Theatre Internationale and WorldEnsemble, working to create community across borders locally and globally. She conceived, produced, and directed A Happening and BrooKenya!, an intercontinental grassroots soap opera involving 150 residents in Brooklyn, USA; Kisumu, Kenya; and Lima, Peru. She has presented and taught at Brandeis University, International Center for Tolerance Education; First Latin American Conference on Education-Entertainment for Social Change; International Peace Researchers Association; International Community-Based Theatre Festival; and Youth Channel. She is also a writer and designer.

Mary Ann Hunter is a senior lecturer in drama education at the University of Tasmania and former research associate with the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. She has been a theatre worker, broadcaster, and community-based consultant in Australia and Singapore, and has published widely on youth-specific arts and policy. She was formerly the coordinator of meenah mienne Aboriginal arts mentoring program and is an honorary research advisor with the Faculty of Arts, University of Queensland. Hunter currently lives in Tasmania and continues to work and publish in areas of peacebuilding and the arts.