Why is D-a-D needed?
Theatre is not responding adequately to the challenges of our time.
Communities around the world are fractured; nationalism and tribalism of all kinds are on the rise.
The fallout from Brexit is the UK’s most prominent manifestation, but this is a global phenomenon.
Meanwhile our theatre is driven by a marketing-led approach - mesmerised by the notion of “target audiences”:
What are the barriers to inclusivity?
In our public spaces, culture is almost entirely defined by exclusivity:
Imagine a hopeful, democratic, inclusive and creative culture.
Imagine a growth in theatre that brings different people together - addressing the issues of the day, but in a way that foregrounds the universals and celebrates differences.
This should not be reduced to a marketing challenge, nor is it a call for a lowest common denominator populist theatre.
It is, however, an acknowledgment that our theatre can be non-elitist and popular.
The challenge is for theatre artists and producers to create thoughtful and uplifting theatre that can have a broad appeal and bring together disparate people - those who would never normally inhabit the same space - into a theatre space, creating a powerful, albeit temporary, sense of community.
Time for a movement.
There's a lot of great performance of different kinds across the UK and worldwide where culture is being used to create a Dialogue-Across-Difference:
What is Dialogue Across Difference?
A framework to support the creation and evaluation of theatre that brings people together
The 4 Key Elements: Social, Educational, Emotional & Spiritual
This model is developed from a tool used by marketing agency Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM). MHM designed a hierarchy of motivation moving from the social to the intellectual to the emotional and finally the spiritual. D-a-D has been inspired by MHM's work, but rather than a hierarchy, views the four elements as interlocking. The term "educational" is preferred too, as it takes this element out of the head and into learning more broadly.
This framework is the foundation of a practice-as-research project.
The investigation will look at how this framework can be applied to dramaturgy (the composition of performance) and evaluation of performance experiences.
The aim is to produce new knowledge about making performance more inclusive and to share the knowledge effectively with people working in theatre.
The starting point for Dialogue Across Difference (D-a-D) has been theatre-maker Danny Braverman's theatre projects
A story of love, art, history and fish balls. 2012 onwards
Working in collaboration with Director Nick Philippou, Danny Braverman's critically-acclaimed, award-winning solo show has now achieved over 150 performances across the world. In evaluating why the show "works", Danny was introduced to Morris Hargreaves McIntyre's model of motivation and adapted it as a tool for his work.
Welcome to the steam baths. Welcome Home. 2015 onwards
Danny directed Nick Cassenbaum's solo show set in the Canning Town Steam Baths. Presented across the UK and in the USA and Malta, Danny and Nick started to apply the D-a-D framework to develop Bubble Schmeisis' dramaturgy
A turbulent love affair between a performer and his audience. 2018 onwards
The latest project represents a consolidation and development of the D-a-D framework, as Danny and Nick co-wrote this new piece inspired by Nick's appreciation of Michael Barrymore. A highly participatory event, My Kind of Michael premiere's at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Fringe 2018.
A youth musical project
Written by Danny Braverman, Songs by Labi Siffre.
This new musical is designed with and for young people. This project explores D-a-D as co-creation dramaturgy and to evaluate the experiences of young participants. The show has already achieved workshop productions at The Arcola Theatre and for Goldsmiths Musical Theatre Society. A pack to enable schools and youth groups to to produce the show independently is planned for 2020.
IMPORTANT TO GAUGE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SOCIAL, INTELLECTUAL, EMOTIONAL & SPIRITUAL ENGAGEMENT OF AUDIENCES.
Audience Feedback on Wot? No Fish!!
Summerhall, Edinburgh Fringe, 2013
It was audience responses to Wot? No Fish!! that set in train the need to find a new model of dramaturgy that would bring audiences together across difference.
Audience Feedback on Bubble Schmeisis
Rich Mix, London, 2015
Just one video of many of audience response to Bubble Schmeisis. You get a real sense of the uplift of a shared event from these vox pops.