A Participatory Performance: Shadows and Light

A Participatory Performance: Shadows and Light

A participatory immersive performance bringing to life Tavistock researchers and the people they worked with in communities, organisations and societies across a 70 year body of work. This artistic response steps off the pages of the archive and into the Swiss Church, where the people, their relationships and their diverse worlds were recreated and reimagined through their encounters with the contemporary audience.

Shadows and Light was performed by third year BA Acting and Community Theatre students from East 15 Acting School and directed by Ainslie Masterton. It has been developed in response to materials within the TIHR Archive held at the Wellcome Library and created specifically for performance in the Swiss Church as part of the Festival.

The performance took place on Tuesday and Wednesday during the festival.


Ainslie Masterton has been creating immersive theatre for communities for twenty five years. For the past ten years, Ainslie has worked with East 15 Acting school in Loughton and Southend, training young people in the skills and techniques of bringing out the stories and legacies of our shared and often forgotten past through interactive performances for communities and organisations in London, Essex and East Anglia.The BA (Hons) Acting and Community Theatre program at East 15 Acting School at the University of Essex offers training for a career in participatory and community theatre. Students work extensively with professionals and community organisations, developing skills in workshop facilitation and leadership, project management, musical, technical, video and web-based experience. Students work on projects with local communities and external partners within health, justice and social services settings developing a site-specific performance, creating a community play and developing skills in production, marketing and evaluation. Graduates have formed companies all over the world developing communities and celebrating local people.East 15 was a local project partner on TIHR’s Social Seducement project in 2016 and 2017, supported by the EU Erasmus+ programme. Four groups of students piloted the SocialPlaNet game as part of their arts administration module, developing business model canvasses for social enterprises working in community theatre. This performance provided an opportunity for both partners to collaborate again.e15 logo
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