Applied puppetry and health action

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores the experience of using Applied Puppetry in contexts globally including Nairobi, in relation to ideas about materiality drawn from Object Oriented Ontology (OOO) as defined by Harman (2010 and 2018) and influenced by ecological performance practices with puppetry or performing objects. The chapter responds to Hughes and Nicholson’s framing of contemporary Applied Theatre's ‘ecology of practices’ involving the material world and the human that as a practice is ‘continually shifting and developing with the consequence that it has not one identity but many practical identities, differently and appropriately nuanced according to context’ (2016: 9). Applied Theatre is engaging with this type of materiality and its impact on the ecology and this focus on objects and things within an ecology is part of health action engagements across the globe. In this ecology of practices, the ‘non-human’ or ‘more-than-human’ are included within this expanded field of Applied Theatre. This consideration of materiality and ecology provokes another question; If the current and future plural intersectional landscape of Applied Theatre is an ecology, then does this ecology of practices ‘listen to’ or ‘speak to’ the wider climate crisis issues that are non-anthropocentric and not based on the hierarchy built upon the ‘perceived service’ of the planet’s resources to people's needs? In response to this question and generally throughout this chapter I argue that objects or things can be apprehended and then reconsidered in this wider field, network or ecology as important actors in the network of things. Following this I suggest, if objects in Applied Theatre practice are paid attention to, we can attune our focus towards these entities in projects, workshops and performances. So, I am arguing that Applied Theatre could become a practice that attunes to both the human community and the object community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApplied Theatre and Sustainable Development Goals
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 5 Mar 2024

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