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this: Live Performance Series at the Institute Examines the Paradigm of Audience as Co-creator

this: Live Performance Series at the Institute Examines the Paradigm of Audience as Co-creator



It’s not always easy to describe an offering like Liam Clancy’s this.  Think of every performance you have been to lately, and of your role as an audience member. The show goes on. No matter how amazing the experience, there’s a single channel for feedback. You applaud. It’s the audible equivalent of a Facebook thumbs-up, and equally inappropriate at times.

 is going to be different. But it’s sort of impossible at press time to say how its going to be different. In fact that’s the point. If you go to one of our fine local theaters productions, you may expect something like the same show night to night. Consistency is a virtue, and the contract of the audience is to watch. You might think of thisas more like a jazz show, since there will be improvisation on stage, but again that falls short of the intent of the offering.

In the case of this, the audience acts as a vessel for the performance and more: as some kind of shaping influence for what will emerge. But no one can say what this looks like, because it depends on everything…the night, the performers, the audience the ambience.

But there are four things we can know:

  • this is a Live Performance Series- that means there will definitely be performers, doing something with witnesses present. And as a Series, this will be convening three Thursdays,
    • April 17th
    • May 15th
    • June 12th
  • this will follow the same schedule on each occasion:
    • 6-7pm  Pre Performance Salon at Solare’ Ristorante, with special deals for attendees.
    • 7-9pm  Live Performances in the Expressive Arts Studio Space.
    • 9-10pm Return to Solare’ for after performance conversation with the artists.
  • Admission is only $5

The planned contact between the witnesses and performers in the salons before and after the show offers a setting for feedback and conversation around expectations, curiosities and what emerges, At the heart of this, Clancy has some fundamental curiosities emerging from his years as a performer and a scholar of performance. Some are historic questions from the tradition of theater and some are his unique formulations:

  • Can the difference between audience and performer be practical not fundamental? (Peter Brook)
  • Can performance and making not be separated? (Jennifer Monson)
  • Can the audience become fully aware of it’s role in assisting the performer(s)? (Peter Brook)
  • Can performance be a genuine conversation where listening and improvisation between audience and performer are supported and encouraged?
  • Can we (audience and performer) be made by the live event rather than feel like one of us made something and the others have to figure it out?
As a wise man once said, there are no answers, only more interesting questions. this makes no promises to provide answers, in fact no promises at all except presence. And perhaps that is the only promise worth making.

About that fourth thing. Although there is no  published list of performers, set of themes, or easy generalization about the nature of the work, given my past experience with Liam Clancy,  it’s definitely on my “to-do” list.

For more Info on location, visit the events page