Adaptation and resilience in the performing arts

The pandemic and beyond

Edited by Pascale Aebischer and Rachael Nicholas

Adaptation and resilience in the performing arts
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  • Price: £40.00
  • ISBN: 9781526172402
  • Publish Date: May 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • Price: £40.00
  • ISBN: 9781526172419
  • Publish Date: May 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-7240-2
    • Pages: 232
    • Price: £40.00
    • Published Date: May 2024
    • Series: The pandemic and beyond


    This book offers insights into some of the digital innovations, structural adaptations and analogue solutions that enabled live performance in the UK to survive through the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides evidence of values-led policies and practices that have improved the wellbeing of the creative workforce and have increased access to live performance. Through sections that address digital innovations, workforce resilience and programming live performances outdoors and in community settings, this book provides practical insights into the challenges live performance faced during the pandemic. It shows how, in order to survive, individuals and companies within the sector drew on the creativity and resourcefulness of its workforce, and on new and existing networks. In these accounts, the pandemic functioned as catalyst for technological innovations, stock-taking regarding exploitative industry structures, and a re-valuing of the role of live performance for community-building.


    'Any scholars interested in thinking about COVID, its impact on a wide range of art forms and its possible long-term effects will find much of value in this book.'
    Alison Jeffers, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester
    Adaptation and resilience in the performing arts shares important insights into the effects of the pandemic on live performance in the UK. Contributors reflect on what they discovered from working with practitioners and companies in the live performing arts, who rapidly adapted their working practices and the spaces in which they were able to connect safely with audiences, whether digital or outdoors. Chapters provide evidence of the impacts of digital innovations and telepresence technologies on artists and audiences, and shed light on how government discourses and the support structures within the industry affected the mental health of creative practitioners. Addressing policymakers and practitioners, others investigate how artists and local government events managers approached programming community-based work outdoors.

    Throughout, chapters are infused with practical energy, inspired by the creativity and dedication of practitioners, and mindful of how the pandemic exacerbated the structural and financial precariousness of the workforce in live performing arts. They offer evidence-based reflections on values-led practices in the creative sector that model more inclusive, accessible and sustainable ways of working. Adaptation and resilience thus contributes to shaping our understanding of the challenges faced by live performing arts at a time of crisis - and how these may be overcome.


    Introduction: Adaptation and resilience in the performing arts - Pascale Aebischer and Rachael Nicholas
    1 The present and future of digital theatre - Richard Misek
    2 Dancing into the metaverse: Creating a framework for ethical and ecological telematic dance practice and performance - Daniel Strutt
    3 Breaking the fifth wall: Creating theatre on a telepresence stage - Steve Dixon and Paul Sermon
    4 Weariness, adaptability, and challenging 'viability': Creative freelancers and pandemic resilience in South Yorkshire - Sarah M. Price, Stephanie E. Pitts and Renee Timmers
    5 Reboot. Upskill. Rethink: a case study of digital adaptation in the creative workforce - Pascale Aebischer
    6 Once upon a Pandemic: Tales from the 2020s - Paul Heritage Jnr
    7 Reconfiguring dramaturgies of place: local authority event management during the COVID-19 pandemic - Giselle Garcia
    8 Re-inventing live events, re-inventing communities - Sarah Pogoda and Lindsey Colbourne


    Pascale Aebischer is Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Performance Studies at the University of Exeter.
    Rachael Nicholas is Membership and Engagement Manager at Vitae.

    Adaptation and resilience in the performing arts

    Edited by Pascale Aebischer, Rachael Nicholas

    Hardcover £40.00 / $59.95

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