Making space: A community-engaged youth theatre practice grounded in care

Alysha Herrmann, Claire Glenn, Sarah Peters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Facilitating spaces for young people to gather together and work creatively is at the heart of what the three authors of this chapter do as artists. Between us, we have worked in a variety of roles across the theatre industry, both nationally in Australia and internationally as creative producers, directors, playwrights, dramaturgs, and facilitators. We have worked in rural, regional, and urban locations, with young people from primary school through to tertiary institutions, and in both community and professional contexts. There is a strong thread of social justice work within our creative practice, a desire to ‘identify and attempt to address structural disadvantage, discrimination and inequality’ (Coburn and Gormally 2015:67). This is embodied in our practice as care. A feminist ethics of care is ‘a way of thinking about politics, social practices and the everyday-life considerations of people in diverse circumstances’ (Barnes et al. 2015:233) which actively considers the relationship between values, actions, and systems in order to critique and transform policy and practice. This chapter draws on the critical frameworks of an ethics of care and community engaged theatre practice to refect on, name, and share the common elements of our work in the arts with young people. These practices regularly subvert and critique power structures and barriers to accessibility, prioritise collaboration, and are grounded in values of care, joyous enthusiasm, and courageous vulnerability as we strive to create places for young people to belong and thrive as artists...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Theatre and Young People
EditorsSelina Busby, Kelly Freebody, Charlene Rajendran
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-14996-5
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-71243-3, 978-1-032-34886-5
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge Theatre and performance Companions


  • Community engaged theatre
  • Theatre
  • Youth
  • Ethics of care


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