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Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2049-3010
  • E-ISSN: 2049-3029



Participation is central to and essentialized in theatre and interactive arts. While scholars have articulated the importance of participation in arts, participation has also been considered a foundational principle in development discourse, and it is largely external. Beyond the notion of participation as an external force, which I term a verb-oriented notion of participation, is the noun-oriented notion of participation, which is innate and organically induced from within an individual and a group or community (collective). In this article, I discuss a dual notion of participation and a relational interaction between these notions, which can lead to a holistic insight on participation. Using a case study that deals with managing conflict and bullying in a secondary drama classroom, an applied theatre project among refugees in Australia, I explore how this holistic insight into participation can influence how participation is framed and conceptualized in any applied theatre project. I argue that participation has been framed using a onesided, verb-oriented approach, and I propose a holistic notion of participation as a tool to rethink, reposition, reconceptualize and re-evaluate participation in applied theatre practice.


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