ArtsPraxis, Volume 5 Issue 2

The cover image for Arts Praxis Volume 5 Issue 2, 2019, is from a keynote presentation in which the words "all theatre is political" were crossed out - in an attempt to provoke conversation, which is the shared aim of this issue.

ArtsPraxis Volume 5 Issue 2 has been published.

Last April, at the 15th annual Forum: Performance as Activism, I was heartened to meet practitioners, artists, educators and scholars from around the globe who were enthusiastically engaged in using the art form of theatre to address pressing social and cultural issues. This edition of ArtsPraxis includes fourteen inspiring and pertinent articles that report on activist theories and practices that have been initiated, explored and successfully implemented in communities and classrooms.

At the Forum, we asked, “How is activism defined or redefined in 2018?” Through panel discussions, workshops, performances and paper presentations we explored how activism can disrupt, subvert and transform dominant social and political narratives. More than sixty presenters from twelve different countries relayed inspirational and revelatory methods towards the goal of promoting enduring social change through aesthetic expression. In this global space of open dialogue and exchange, we, as activists learned about organizational methods, pedagogical tools, aesthetic devices that, in responding to the complexities of our time, push past boundaries and binaries to redefine cultural innovation.

I hope that you will be inspired by the following theories and practices offered in this volume, ranging from the metamodern to dialogical activism to personal resilience, and surrounded by artistic innovation.

This issue of ArtsPraxis is available for download.


Volume 5 Issue 2  March 2019

Editorial by Nancy Smithner


NYU Keynote, 2018 by Ping Chong

Deaf Talent: Richness within Our Stories by James W. Guido

Ximonïk: The Unbound Performances of Maya Women’s Group Ajchowen by Chelsea Hackett


Hope with Dirty Hands: Community Theatre Participation as Activism in Everything is Possible by Bridget Foreman

Energize, Resist, Re-Purpose: An American Theatre Responds by Penelope Cole

From the School to the Educating Community: Practices of Social Theatre in Italy as a New Form of Activism by Giulia Innocenti Malini


Leaping into the Disassociated Space: Unknowing Activism, Agency and Youth Identity in “Notes From Nowhere” by Gustave Weltsek and Clare Hammoor; Illustrator: Kylie Walls

Students as Arts Activists: Insights and Analysis from a Politically Engaged Assessment by Matthew Reason

Inciting Solidarity through Plural Performativity and Pedagogical Aesthetics in Ethnodrama with Marginalized Youth in Toronto by Rachel Rhoades


Beyond the Wall: Borderland Identity through Puppets by Ana Diaz Barriga

The Aesthetics of Activism in Korea: The Utopian Performative and Communitas by Jisun Kim

A Silent Shout: Metamodern Forms of Activism in Contemporary Performance by Tom Drayton


“It Did Get Rid of the ‘These People Are Old People’ Thing in My Brain”: Challenging the Otherness of Old Age through One-to-One Performance by Bridie Moore

Inday Dolls: Body Monologues and Lullabies for Freedom in Prison: Scripting Possible Futures in Justice Art in Iloilo’s Correctional System by Ma Rosalie Abeto Zerrudo and Dennis D. Gupa

Media Practice and Theatre in Conversation: Co-Creating Narratives for Positive Social Change by Jackie Kauli and Verena Thomas

Arts Education Down Under – NYU Astor Fellows 2016

by Jamie Cacciola-Price, EdD Student and Astor Program Assistant

Over 10 days during late July and early August, the Astor Fellows, under the program direction of Dr. Philip Taylor, explored “Arts Education Down Under” in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. The program offered Fellows, a select group of 12 NYC Dept. of Education arts teachers, the opportunity to explore cultural staples of the country, such as seeing Cosi fan Tutti at The Sydney Opera House, a visit to Taronga Park Zoo, a picnic at Hanging Rock, an “Aussie Rules Footy” game, and a play at Melbourne Theatre Company.

Fellows also shared rich learning experiences through secondary and primary school visits, and teacher training opportunities through The Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne University. A particular area of interest was Australian Aboriginal history, presented by NYU Sydney, which shared many similarities to Native American history. Teaching artists and organizations, such as Ausdance, offered an inside look into the cultural dances and practices of indigenous peoples. Another highlight was being able to witness innovative teaching practices, such as the Kathy Walker Play-Based Learning Method, being utilized in a primary school setting at Noble Park Primary School, which serves a large population (88%) of ESL and immigrant students.

Overall, the trip was an incredible enriching experience both from an artistic and educational lens. Please visit the NYU Arts Educator blog for a complete itinerary, educator resources, and a daily journal of the activities and learning experiences of the Astor Fellows while down under.

NYU Astor Fellows and Melbourne University drama education students explore "Drama Methods" with Dr. Jane Bird - August 2, 2016

NYU Astor Fellows and Melbourne University drama education students explore “Drama Methods” with Dr. Jane Bird – August 2, 2016

View a photo slide show on You Tube.