Can I Join In? Playful Performance and Alternative Political Realities

Book chapter


Drayton, T. 2022. Can I Join In? Playful Performance and Alternative Political Realities. in: Koubová, A., Urban, P., Russell, W. and MacLean, M. (ed.) Play and Democracy: Philosophical Perspectives Routledge. pp. 108-124
AuthorsDrayton, T.
EditorsKoubová, A., Urban, P., Russell, W. and MacLean, M.
Abstract

Extinction Rebellion's ten-day London occupation in April 2019 marked a turning point in the United Kingdom's growing awareness of the impending climate crisis. Alongside the activist group's disruptive repurposing of public spaces as areas for play to occur, participatory guerrilla street theatre groups led activists in collaborative, improvisational play throughout the occupied spaces. This participatory protest extolled the world-making potential of play, reflecting shifts in contemporary political theatre practices towards what can be termed the post-immersive; works that reclaim participatory theatre's activist roots by imagining and rehearsing alternative political realities in the theatrical space. Drawing on Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker's metamodernism, this chapter examines the central oscillation between silliness and seriousness in these activists’ and theatre makers’ playful response to crisis. Applying John Jordan's claim to the ability of political play to propose alternative realities, this chapter also importantly critiques the exclusion of particular demographics from the creation of such realities, with Extinction Rebellion's fetishization of arrests precluding minority ethnic and working-class activists from taking part. If playful, participatory protest can propose alternative political realities, who is able to engage in the creation of these new worlds? Who can join in?

KeywordsProtest; Political Theatre; Participation; Participatory Theatre; Play; Democracy; Metamodernism; Extinction Rebellion
Book titlePlay and Democracy: Philosophical Perspectives
Page range108-124
Year2022
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Print31 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Feb 2023
ISBN9780367641276
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003122289-9
Web address (URL)https://www.routledge.com/9780367641276
Permalink -

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/8vq0v

  • 111
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 7
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

‘Can’t this just f*cking exist? Can’t a play from a person like me just be a f*cking play already?’: Metamodern Self-reflexivity as an approach to tackling Black Trauma Narratives in Arinzé Kene’s Misty (2018)
Drayton, T. 2024. ‘Can’t this just f*cking exist? Can’t a play from a person like me just be a f*cking play already?’: Metamodern Self-reflexivity as an approach to tackling Black Trauma Narratives in Arinzé Kene’s Misty (2018). Recentring Form(s) in and of the Margins: The Politics of Self-Reflexivity. Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, Belgium 24 - 26 Apr 2024
Notes on [a] Metamodernism [conference]
Drayton, T. 2023. Notes on [a] Metamodernism [conference]. in: Kavanagh, K. and Hamer, T. (ed.) The Really Fantastic and the Fantastically Real: Doing Circus Now Cardiff, UK Metamodern Festival. pp. 8 - 12
'It's All So Pointless. Ah, But It's Not Though, Is It? It's Really Real and When You Feel It You Can Really Feel It': Theatre and Performance within Metamodernism
Drayton, T. 2023. 'It's All So Pointless. Ah, But It's Not Though, Is It? It's Really Real and When You Feel It You Can Really Feel It': Theatre and Performance within Metamodernism. The Metamodern Circus. NoFit State Circus, Cardiff (UK) 26 - 26 May 2023 The Circus Diaries.
I Really Don't Care, Do You?: The Philosophical Problems of Producing or Performing Empathy in Contemporary Performance.
Drayton, T., Christodoulou, P., Corsa, A. and Goldstein, T. 2022. I Really Don't Care, Do You?: The Philosophical Problems of Producing or Performing Empathy in Contemporary Performance. Performance Philosophy Conference 2022. Units Helsinki 15 - 18 Jun 2022
The Gaming Democracy Project: Virtual Democracy in the Age of Fascism IRL (In Real Life)
Dunne-Howrie, J. and Drayton, T. 2022. The Gaming Democracy Project: Virtual Democracy in the Age of Fascism IRL (In Real Life). Zip-Scene 2022. Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary 10 - 12 Nov 2022
Meet Me Through the Webcam: An Ethics of Participatory Performance Practice in the Age of Zoom
Drayton, T. 2021. Meet Me Through the Webcam: An Ethics of Participatory Performance Practice in the Age of Zoom. CATR-SQET 2021: Crisis and Recovery: Theatre and Performance Before and After the Global Pandemic. University of Ottawa, Canada 10 Jun - 10 Jul 2021
‘Unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time’: Anti-Racist Activism and the Performativity of Statues
Drayton, T. 2021. ‘Unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time’: Anti-Racist Activism and the Performativity of Statues. Performance & Populism: Mobilization, Popular Power, and Embodiment on the Left. University of Warwick & University of Berkeley California 03 - 05 Nov 2021
Should I Be Joking in a Time Like This?: Bo Burnham's INSIDE as a Metamodern Response to Crisis
Drayton, T. 2021. Should I Be Joking in a Time Like This?: Bo Burnham's INSIDE as a Metamodern Response to Crisis.
Authenticity in the Arts and Media in an Era of Fake News: Loss & Hope
Drayton, T. 2019. Authenticity in the Arts and Media in an Era of Fake News: Loss & Hope. Authenticity in the Arts and Media in an Era of ‘Fake News’. University of East London, UK 07 Feb 2019
Can I Join In? Playful Performance as Political Intervention
Drayton, T. 2019. Can I Join In? Playful Performance as Political Intervention. Play and Democracy: The fifth biennial Philosophy at Play conference. The Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague 24 - 26 Jun 2019
Hope/Less: The Politics of Metamodern Theatre
Drayton, T. 2019. Hope/Less: The Politics of Metamodern Theatre. 4th AHRC Metamodernism Network Conference. Radboud University, Nijmegen 03 - 05 Jul 2019
A Silent Shout: Metamodern Forms of Activism in Contemporary Performance
Drayton, T. 2019. A Silent Shout: Metamodern Forms of Activism in Contemporary Performance . Artspraxis. 5 (2), pp. 169-184.
Listening Theatre: The New Politics of Millennial Performance Makers
Drayton, T. 2018. Listening Theatre: The New Politics of Millennial Performance Makers. NYU Educational Theatre Forum 2018: 'Performance as Activism'. New York University, NY, USA 19 2018 - 21 Apr 2019
Metamodernist, Millennial Milieu in Performance
Drayton, T. 2018. Metamodernist, Millennial Milieu in Performance. 'Making Connections' UEL ACI PGR Conference 2018. University of East London May 2018
The Listening Theatre: A Metamodern Politics of Performance
Drayton, T. 2018. The Listening Theatre: A Metamodern Politics of Performance. Performance Philosophy. 4 (1), pp. 170-187. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2018.41200
Round and Round the Gardens: Can the RHS engage children with relevant environmental issues through immersive, promenade theatre?
Drayton, T. 2016. Round and Round the Gardens: Can the RHS engage children with relevant environmental issues through immersive, promenade theatre? ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering 2016: On The Edge. University of Birmingham, UK 02 - 09 Jul 2016 ASSITEJ International.