Playground is a group for creative practitioners who are interested in applying play strategies in the creation of participatory performance.

The last 20 years has seen a vast expansion of interactive and immersive forms of theatre, and as audience participation in theatre has grown, many practitioners have looked to methods of game design and play to promote the creative agency of audience members.

Led by theatre director, play designer and performance researcher, Jamie Harper, together with members of the previous Playground group, this course will invite participants to develop new ideas and techniques for making participatory performance, drawing on methods of game design and live action role-play, or larp as it is more commonly known.

Over the course of 3 weekends in late September and early October this year, we will work with design strategies of games and larp to co-create original participatory performance works. In addition to focusing on formal experimentation, this process will invite participants to investigate thematic questions of what we want to make art about and why participatory art might be aesthetically and politically valuable.

The process will conclude with a series of performance playings that will be accessible to an invited audience that will enable us to test the work and develop it in response to player feedback.

Participation in Playground costs £36 (£6 per day) or £18 for students and those who are unwaged. If you would like to apply to be part of the project, please submit up to 100 words on why you would like to be involved and up to 100 words on what you think you could contribute to the group. Anyone and everyone is welcome to apply, irrespective your level of artistic experience. Applications should be sent to [email protected] The deadline is Monday the 10th September.

If you are invited to join the group, we will ask for payment in advance, although we will offer a full refund after the first session for anyone who decides that they don’t wish to continue their involvement. If you have any questions about the structure or content of the project, please email Jamie Harper at [email protected]. We look forward to receiving your application!