Delegated performance: Interdisciplinary tensions, provocations and questions | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1757-1979
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1987



Art historian and critic Claire Bishop and theatre/performance scholar Jen Harvie have each written about a relatively new form of socially engaged participatory performance art that Bishop calls ‘delegated performance’. Delegated performance differs from earlier forms of performance art in that the performance is delegated to other people (hired or volunteer), including (at times) spectators, who enact the piece, rather than the piece being carried out by the artist herself. This set of poetically informed microlectures examines delegated performance in the attempt to glean interdisciplinary understandings about how the delegation of performance happens in drama education and applied theatre. What might those who work and research in these fields consider as issues surrounding the delegating performance? Of what value is this notion in assisting in thinking about practice? Examples of delegated performance are drawn from Bishop and Harvie and additional sources and considered for the ethical questions and provocations they raise. In light of this investigation, drama educators and applied theatre facilitators are recommended to consider how much and in what ways they are delegating performance with students/participants, and to what effect.


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