Markus Kubesch

On practices of participation in rehearsal processes of theatre work with children and adolescents

„All together now!“ – In theatre, i.e. the very place where people come together to play, see, hear, think and feel, participation is en vogue. With the motto “not watching, but doing” (Bicker, 2013) the “theatre of participation” (ibid.) was proclaimed. Participatory theatre works, which are produced with (sometimes also by) non-professional performers, that is experts of the everyday, are regular features of contemporary repertoires.

When participation in decision-making and creative processes of societal matters is promised or called for, equality (of opportunity) is sought after – through letting everyone be seen and heard.

However, the fact that participation also solidifies hierarchical differences and inequalities between those who initiate participatory projects and those who are invited to take part, i.e. between those who are responsible and knowledgeable and those who are not yet, has recently also been stressed by theatre pedagogy.

Against this background, my research project focuses on exploring artistic and pedagogical practices that allow participation in artistic production processes to be initiated, supported, called for, accepted or rejected. To this end, I examine how questions of power relations, of structures of social relationships, of belongingness or exclusion, of identity or otherness can be negotiated and tested in rehearsal processes of theatre work with children and adolescents.