Low, Katharine E. and Calvert, Dave (2015) Conference Review: Heroism and the Heroic in Applied and Social Theatre. Journal of Arts and Communities, 20 (2). pp. 173-176. ISSN 1757-1936

In March 2014, the TaPRA Applied and Social Theatre Working Group held a research day at the Royal Central School Speech and Drama (RCSSD) exploring the significance and implications of the notion of heroism in socially engaged theatre practice. Heroism as a theme emerged from discussions at the end of the last annual TaPRA conference in Glasgow in 2013, which led the working group convenors (Sylvan Baker, Dave Calvert, Alison Jeffers & Katharine Low) into discussions on risk and bravery in applied and social theatre from which have emerged ideas about care and protection, both of participants and of practitioners. Another strong theme to emerge from our conversations on heroism was the notion of leadership; different models of leadership, and changing perceptions of self in leadership roles. Is heroism always epic or can we identify small acts of everyday heroism and is it at all helpful to think in these terms? Does thinking about heroism lead to a certain romanticisation of applied theatre?

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