Dramatising Social Care (book)

Dr Claire MacNeill’s first book exploring her research within institutional care settings using theatre as a development tool. The last chapters of this book explore the ways in which festival culture has become a contemporary “Adult Playground” and the potential for these sites as a space for shared liberation and revolutionary movements.

Book Synopsis 

Applied theatre is a continually growing and diversifying field. This book is the first of its kind to examine the use of applied theatre with looked-after children. It interrogates the experiences of young people in care in the UK and the potential of applied theatre as a liberation tool within these settings. Informed by twelve years of practice-based research, the book examines how a central pedagogy was initially developed with young people and front-line staff within a residential children’s home. The author then critiques the ways in which this pedagogy was adapted and expanded to work with other looked-after, misrepresented and marginalised young people in re- lated settings. The research presented here describes a unique journey through care homes, children’s prisons and inner-city estates, exploring the possibility of reclaiming child- hoods through theatre practice. It asks the questions: what does it mean to be looked after and cared for by an institution? What are the challenges of developing liberatory practice within rigid and homogenising frame- works? And how can theatre forge radical creative spaces within a network of power and control?

What our client had to say

"MacNeill is an authoritative voice on the failings of institutionalized care in the United Kingdom, and the recommendations she makes on the potential of applied creative methods as a means to address the needs of young people deserve serious consideration."

Maggie InchleyQueen Mary University of London, United Kingdom (Reviewer)