"Acting Out" in the Public Sphere: Community Theatre and Citizenship Education Author(s): Jacqueline Kennelly Source: Canadian

Journal of Education / Revue canadienne de l'éducation, Vol. 29, No. 2, Democracy and Education / La démocracie et l'éducation (2006), pp. 541-562 Published by: Canadian Society for the Study of Education Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20054176 Accessed: 27/09/2010 11:19
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Jacqueline Kennelly

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2001. the nation's notes that (1996) tells the story of who or 'normal'. if someone is in then necessarily . Walter. Strong-Boag. to retreat into oblivion. Scholarly citizenship to reveal the conservative continue undercurrents education ideological that generally shape present-day & Kahne. capacity accounts of contemporary 1996. 2003).542 Jacqueline Kennelly The in this article can be stated the exploration question driving current configurations of education for citizenship and in Canada to participate in the students prepare democracy adequately answer would be "no. Iwill then go this article by describing why central like this: Do on to elaborate of a democratic upon three components public sphere. the very notion many pointed citizen" (p. Strong-Boag some call civics. p. and disrupts to retreat into segregated the modernist enclaves that foster a tendency of obliviousness. As is have of citizenship scholars out. 2003. 43). premised upon exclusion: that is. 1997. as a place that provides for communicative space engages with exchanges. 2003). 2003. 'real'. I shall then provide to illustrate can an example the creative of one politic theatre project grassroots community for providing democratic education ethic. 'representative' was education Early citizenship inextricably to imperialism. citizenship been more concerned with the separating than with instilling a sense of young contemporary emphases education insiders of democratic has historically from the outsiders people's to contribute to democratic praxis (Bannerji. between the and emphasized the relationship and the British Empire Dominion of Canada (Walter. Arguably. I shall conclude the tendency by considering an example in of such for contemporary implications schooling and democracy. 128). considered or what curriculum (Mitchell. Westheimer Veronica historian Canadian "Citizenship gets to be 'ideal' connected education. and experiences the plurality of views that mark society. nurture that foster potential a communicative an increasing and combat Canadian social plurality." and Iwill begin public sphere? My provisional I believe this to be the case. citizenship CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION: PARTICIPATION OR CONFORMITY Both the history citizenship reveal scholarship of education in Canada and critical a troubling of the aims and picture educational practices.

citizens" ethic. these girls are the mothers worthwhile of tomorrow" (as cited in Sangster. 348). disabilities. 338. DePass Bannerji. As noted in a speech and by one Big Sister. people the working class/working this argument. in prisons. p. Such approaches norms or to re-impose social and moral falling into delinquency. one of compensating role to be partially for the to be received assumed by young people who organization to uplift their young The Big Sisters attempted who would charges by rallying "help girls to become good saw citizens" cited in Sangster. grew up in poor and working experts of the Although as time would to the cite conditions such as poor housing contributing likelihood fall into delinquency. of Canadian the norms include citizenship homeless and refugees. discipline. people. & Chunn.after all. where into social citizens with girls needed moral model saw their it was should be re assumed. young Discourses differential also had citizenship treatment of young people of on the impact profound court in the juvenile caught a . italics in original). been outside traditionally women. "guidance as their place in the community [have] helped girls accept understanding citizens . feminine. had She describes those who the upon already was applied in which education gendered ways citizenship profoundly them from to these molded young people. 347). as opposed inequities. will illustrate how discourses of good Joan Sangster (2002) analyzes citizenship to educate class Canadian imbued attempts and working poor youth were explicitly to prevent intended from 1920 to 1965. 2002. and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered A few examples from Canada's history people. while to become reformers parenting inadequate class households. law. example. of middle class reformers like the Big Sisters the efforts returned to the in Hamilton. and the work respect in order and self-control protection. 2002." to social and economic set the faults. among charges. Menzies. for democracy. of young the emphasis people's inevitably individual stage for This focus on impact of "bad parenting. poor. so fallen. immigrants Aboriginal peoples. for Adamoski & 1997. must be out 2002. people with (see. p. The Big Sisters explicitly (as as ensuring their role the future of the nation through the development of appropriate and moral their characteristics sexual. "boys. Those who have 2002).Acting Out" in the Public Sphere 543 someone Qureshi. older women Social (p.

cafeteria. training in carpentry. This labour were or laundry work. and capacity to live within the strictures of good citizenship willingness to the work "their own moral and dedications propriety including or. "in part because "respectable" working-class to be best 'fitted' intellectually for such work" children were perceived was divided lines. every aspect of young people's Mary normalcy penetrated to an educational in 1947 Louise Adams film first produced (1997) points in 1958. very popular. but also on their only on their actions social persona. is solemn-toned the other gaudy. convince rested As not or girls "The ability of boys to (2002) notes. 350) were more their children to sentenced from being likely to prevent to be put in training schools. As Sangster (p.his or her institutions would often be justified correctional sentencing a means to provide training for children seen "citizenship by the judge as to be at risk of becoming this form of citizenship forms. adult criminals or misfits" these working-class labour. 352). She is 'interested in . 353). her And. Sangster that they were on the road to reform judges or court workers and demeanour. parking and Caroline. of course. is too find night. 350).institutions notes. packaged her kids she clothes in the goes are fussy. barbering. one should education. She is dressed simply. in an easy kind of way (which is. She greets her friends calmly and pleasantly. their parents' embrace of good family's especially Parents who were able to establish their own citizenship" (p. Sangster essentially . Once again. while boys received girls sewing. age.. Her jewellery is big and old out for her from Caroline. their and wholesome leisure activities" ethic. taught cooking. churchgoing (p. 351). one needs only to to young people identified in the 1950s in Canada to see how discourses look as far as schooling of limited (p. that. called "Are You Popular?" and updated She describes it as follows: To make its point the film contrasts Ginny in multiple working-class girl. Ginny is the unpopular signifiers. the right way). took profoundly and classed training gendered these girls and boys were educated for notes. with hair we boys at other narrator. maintenance.. and auto mechanics Lest was think that such gendered and classed surveillance as delinquents.544 Jacqueline Kennelly systems. the on she 'yoo-hoos' the male hand. where along clearly gendered (p. If a young person were unfortunate enough a training were school . shoe repair.

a and tray of And. home. in or assimilating Aboriginal peoples 1978). Such (p. also heterosexual. Persson. the (p. constructing educational misrepresented of Aboriginal and maligned the realities culture and to do today) (Battiste & Semaganis. an curfew. This history. carried within them Canadian to exist within how one needed the describing examples through myriad of normalcy were. and sexuality a normal have played citizen in roles key in Canadian of young concept so race has been a central determining factor. Caroline Ginny. and the school play.Acting Out" in the Public Sphere 545 girls rather than boys/ She offers to help with 'park' with boys in their cars. fresh brownies. 1986). young so the Canadian schools. of normal. 90) endeavours and as this film norms described above served to educational in young upon people the sub-texts of citizenship. Such expressions bounds of course. gender. The very of citizenship conception peoples explicitly excluded Aboriginal and mainstream schooling has historically peoples. Rather. Education peoples an emphasis on either Canada's has been marked history by and its relations the the colonizer's to European settlers' norms were delinquents state ensured the The perception of to individuality universalizes unrealizable throughout civilizing (Frideres. popularity are indivisible. "fully fledged members they were perceived as dangerous. As Becki Ross (1998) notes. identity (as it largely continues As Battiste and Semaganis note. 2002. can be seen clearly in the traumatic history of education for Aboriginal in Canada. potential reinscribe gendered schools. (2002) citizenship on "is built the Eurocentric education of linguistic conception and the state. 94). or acted upon same-sex desire could never be included as who professed or citizens of the Canadian nation. It aristocracy an and power and establishes experience norm for others" of Aboriginal (p. and improperly criminals sick. those much classroom. She will. Queer bodies had no place in a mainstream profoundly as they do not today. her both date She arrive will be home mother before will class. okay when with she her and For mother. She does not go on a date with a boy if it is agreed-upon them with greet moral character. As poor and working-class . however. They sexualized socialized Just deviants" as class. 193). training sequestered in residential isolation of Aboriginal students schools.

schooling. 2000). and at stock to do a little at but that is raising. and his he learns is soon aversion to inherited toil is in no way combated. Myers. the Canadian category the right of of (government-inscribed) him allow (never her) a practice (Coates. of menial labour. He and to dress schools is reflected in this in the mid-1800s. evaluated on the basis of exams and billed as preparation for global competitiveness. p. can be taught civilized Little can be done with farming. enfranchisement considered hand.1 The recent upsurge ability as a specific curricular liberal schools across Western topic in secondary democracies how well has been students accompanied by have absorbed standardized these tests to evaluate mandates curricular to skills necessary 2003. are thought as a citizen in a in a democracy to be testable participate exam the distance between standardized contemporary highlights education democratic for citizenship. citizen. in a more manner. and political theories about participation in a . (as cited in Kirkness & Bowman. The child who forgotten. 1992. to If an Aboriginal did manage become person conform and to mainstream notions or the and of success attained within a Canadian to university proceeded remove would government Indian from that person. capable only to the government made it legally impossible for an "Indian" Indeed. That the complex (Chamberlin. 1999). public sphere. 10) were status of thus seen as outside the redemptive Aboriginal peoples and in sore need of civilizing. Such to belong within Canadian was clearly marks who and who. excluded. on the other citizenship. constructions of citizenship and their impacts on exclusionary in contemporary remain of education evident forms citizenship for democratic less explicit education citizenship. a citizen of Canada. the shifting focus of schooling about who Such towards standardized educational attainments. all.546 Jacqueline Kennelly Aboriginal statement that shaped these peoples an Inspector of Schools made by (the Indian child). was profession. while his goes to a day school tastes are fashioned learns little and what at home. Although generally is excluded than in the past. provincial more desirable than others due to their renders some students inherently in citizenship to conform to these demands.

deferring symbols and flags an a direct line from more explicitly draws (Sears. 156). and provides education forms of citizenship exclusionary to global citizenship. is in the global economy" (p. Anita Harris capital approach" from the notion of one's social rights and been has come to be decoupled as to participate linked to one's capacity in the marketplace increasingly a worker "In this As Mitchell and a consumer. (see. middle-class. citizen. one does not have to look far to see who find success is not coincidentally. and generally education white. referred to as 'global citizenship. Sears and Hughes (1996) point easy complement An implicit a more activist espouse to support continue the of citizenship. Not conception see Roman. classroom practices conception two forms outlined above. passive who does little to challenge unjust social structures. then. out. What with for citizenship: form of exclusion associated another educating one who a is successful within the global citizen becomes when good success marketplace.'Acting Out" in the Public Sphere 547 Various is education (2003) notes that citizenship disparities. Such emphasis an in the past. system those who within a good this new contemporary Katharyne Mitchell theorists have commented on these . to accommodate and Peter neoliberal Johanna Wyn priorities.. Hebert.. self-interested. citizenship some scholars lament what they see as a lost focus on although in the educational 1997. of These traditional elitist. and believing state.about attainment skills' necessary can be seen here. out that even when curricular documents Thus. for example. neoliberal educating for individual of the 'complex is.' of citizenship (sometimes to generally fit within the categories of 2004) also happen to be on the inside in Canada's of citizenship those considered history heterosexual often male. contradict citizenship global/neoliberal consumer as each supports an individualistic. (2003) points a child to be a good citizen vision of education. and able-bodied. and explicit focus on such global (neoliberal) citizenship on being loyal to the national a more traditional emphasis rests alongside in patriotic to authority. beginning and marketisation of that the privatisation (2000) suggest Dwyer has in many Western liberal democracies education English-speaking shifted the emphasis of educational attainment towards a "new human (2004) describes how citizenship (p. conception ~ do not and elitist each other. 399). 1996).

1976. democracy. citizenship in reinforcing been complicit social in supporting of neoliberal the production each is inherent to with the which Democracy. to encouraging to become young people in the public I will this argument. 1998). To expand engaged it nurtures three characteristics of a democratic public sphere: antithetical education. it might of training be more to in accurate be to understand for the global citizens easy resting citizenship.548 Jacqueline Kennelly Osborne. 24). At the center is the specific medium this account is the assumption that "language . and it (or deliberative) exchanges. account of how communicative exchanges of of creates theoretical developed highly can take place (see. As such. our collective to become Iwill to injustices. highlight communicative subjects. 2000). briefly made by two key theorists in the field: J?rgen Habermas and arguments Seyla Benhabib. for example. deliberative According democracy that allow the better for "communicative presuppositions come into a play in various space to arguments He has forms of deliberation" (p. contemporary (neoliberal) traditional remains diverse sphere.2 alongside of loyalty to the state and flag. little space notions for a focus on democratic that encourage the modes of practices essential to a thriving and democratic public preparation camaraderie representation ACTING OUT IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE:TOWARDS A DEMOCRATIC CULTURE the Through manifestations education more has above of discussion of historical I have and contemporary illustrated how such exclusion and. Habermas." theatre community I illustrate their project possibilities called in Communicative A vast or Deliberative exists on Democracy or the theory and practice of communicative I will discuss For my deliberative purposes. and citizenship past combats because "Practicing practice. Such often recently. oblivious tendency are demonstrably focus on these three both because from they missing mainstream Canadian education and present. sphere. are tendencies actively it fosters plurality. literature to Habermas (1996).

It an anonymous is central to the model sphere of mutually deliberation. noting can organize its affairs along the fiction of a that "no modern society carrying out its deliberations assembly a deliberative she suggests. (p. classism. action oriented toward derivatives of reaching 1998. example. and citizenship emphasises global competitiveness if it continues to smuggle in a history of exclusion individuality. associations. Rather. forms action of social in action for are 21). conversation" results. and colonialism. (Benhabib. takes place process towards agreement. although necessarily should take Habermas place well (1996) argues that the communicative and differentiated process as public spheres "widely expanded through as through of democratic institutionalized legally procedures deliberation and decision-making" Benhabib (1996) clarifies (p." ranging to voluntary social movements. reaching understanding" a deliberative democratic of speech acts not oriented developing the exchange through mutual understanding. It is through networks. a milieu within that privileges place in public and collectively" model of democracy takes a of modes of "plurality to citizens' initiatives. In other words. for democratic In other words. strategic competition. and the interlocking organizations that net of these multiple "public forms of associations. racism. Seyla the reason for needing such a widely differentiated public sphere. p. She writes: groups" (p. through people not will to participate learn the skills necessary in a effectively or deliberative public sphere. to participating in an exchange accustomed young people must become of ideas across multiple If contemporary education public associations. associations."Acting Out" in the Public Sphere 549 general and that "other understanding" conflict. 28). to consciousness-raising to mass from "political parties. of deliberative interlocking and and democracy overlapping that it privileges networks and 1996. that encourages dialogue. 73). to foster a democratic culture . contestation. such a public associations 74) of argumentation. then young sexism. 73). p. (Habermas.

126). that . however. the for equal be argued of in a of colour. consent and in his for how in male capacities on a par with others in dialogue. public paradox It is only human being who has ever lived has been utterly unique. their uniqueness. poor people.." societies (p. some voices and will "tend to exclude and difference.550 Jacqueline Kennelly Plurality in the Public Sphere on communicative Such an emphasis skills cannot remain the sole centre of a theory of the public to be it also needs piece sphere. and queer people by people participation society marked by racism. the She notes for that "citizenship. needs. Although same might the potential make this point. human (1998). But participate to women" are. these are capacities that to be the need for additional considerations highlight into an understanding of the public sphere. and homophobia. depends to the ability speech. among other inequities." "suppressing the public. scrutinized for the forms of exclusion that it can engender.. citizens transcend their particular of a civic public in which and interests to address the common good" will result in contexts. their "who"-ness. classism. every Hannah and acting and speaking through human beings can demonstrate in the public realm. and nurtures Arendt plurality. fosters theorized sphere. Iris Marion Fraser (1989) both provide (1990) and Nancy cogent critiques of Young the masculinist undercurrents of Habermasian communicative "reinstitution is concerned that Young dialogue. plurality equality and of the fact that of both sharing a common space. Hannah the importance of this characteristic Arendt has most provocatively for a democratic public is marked that human argues by both plurality exists in the distinction That is. Not only must incorporated a it be a place where communicative take place within exchanges it must of interlocking also be a place that actively multitude networks. 118). from because of their dominant positions of concepts any call for a perspectives in inegalitarian Fraser (1989) similarly notes that Habermas fails to account is taken up differently between men and women citizenship dominated crucially on societies. Such concerns view.in myriad ways denied she does not (p. she suggests.

awed.through their interactions with that it helps to showcase. Kimberley been more that it has never for those (1997) suggests necessary an active choice to remain in positions to make of privilege individuals aware of the inequalities that surround them. manner than passivity. implicit complete achieved "who" contrary. complacency. however poignant in a world of supporting. talents. and possible only capable sustaining. to others." from which the person dispose On qualities. of "who" and in contradistinction which to "what" he may somebody display or is hide - his is qualities. 179) Curtis about that (1999) notes the wonder of human is a kind of theory and our obligation to it" plurality as attempting to "re-sacralize theory to teach us to feel quickened. p. seem. very plurality Combatting Because public of Oblivion this inextricable of plurality within quality of challenging one's own a democratic stimulating democratic multiple and conflicting voices sphere both provides and strivings" the grounds attributes (p.their "who by the pedagogy (p. (Arendt. so appears clearly his himself. This is particularly the case in tendency the United experts States where at hiding poverty provincial through and the the major cities of Canada and state governments have become . purpose. 10). As plurality Curtis (1997) notes. "[H] owe ver intense or real our feelings and our inner a full sense of reality is life may and piercing. and tendency towards oblivion Curtis ignorance. as though he has that hidden its disclosure it is more likely remains "who. Thus a within which . 31). but one and the possessed can dispose It can be hidden can and of could almost only by never of be this the and 1998. unmistakeably in everything silence as a wilful in the same and somebody perfect says and does. The problem is that an individal may not even realize that he without in his or her life until confronted with it. Curtis sees Arendt's human others. or she is missing public can express individuals their unique ness" . 12). The need for this recognition an ethical one.Acting Out" in the Public Sphere 551 This disclosure gifts. "[Arendt's] Kimberley political our feeling for human particularity. in that a truly democratic public sphere cannot exist it. and to avoid a dangerous to retreat into exclusive enclaves. can emerge. and it is constituted the possibility sphere. is and pleasured of plurality by it" (p. shortcomings.

This is are an ethical imperative in a democratic of plurality why confrontations are not allowed so that those with privilege to lull themselves society: ways. as these such Examples individuals who live in relative illustrate with can be lulled into believing that of their own worlds. The Safe Streets Acts it illegal to panhandle the practice outlawing "aggressively. and of imitates Ontario's earlier and British Act of the same make in both Ontario Columbia of the into that directly legislation name. who would is to for a few dollars. the 1998. Katz. Rebick. Other (O'Grady & Greene. challenge. 2000). state policies it becomes When increasingly to be ethical members to know what of citizens need to know difficult their own between various to face their own as members is of a democracy. others. politics public by ethnicity the building and In these ways of oblivion. examples include government populations that permit 1999). 2004. 2003). recently implemented poor institutions. For example. their task is to resist the enclaving that exists oblivion. to young people their own help educating to confront them . or to absolve that everyone into believing those individuals Likewise. The practical result of such legislation exchange drive street-involved young people out of the public eye." including at intersections in windshields of squeegee wash kids." a piece government.552 Jacqueline Kennelly ghettoization mental health under-resourced and social housing the ever-increasing criminalization of & Weis. and into more circumstances and hidden. poverty (Fine latter tactic has been employed of late by the British Columbia provincial which its "Safe Streets Act. thus countering privilege have seen all there is to see within the confines they serve to hide inequalities. that serve to foster a politics of oblivion of state interventions land-use and to encourage the segregation of policies class (Sugrue. in the world that all is well into the pretense for creating of responsibility change. lives with concerned must the same with comforts that they do. 1996) and parallel policies and policing of gated communities (Curtis. in the privileged classes and those who have been marginalized communities. Their to not retreat themselves sphere. the state the possibility the is complicit of a ease a in fostering democratic truly which those dangerous. in a democracy participate practices of oblivion.

then worked actor for the play. at any this time intervening "Stop. 30 in a week-long to participate All the workshop. as in traditional which theatre. Five of the participants and one professional to with David Diamond. the artistic director of Headlines. Council provided City a ward in like which system input: they would implementing the relationship between and police. and the overwhelming voted for looking majority cuts to welfare. theatre."Acting Out" in the Public Sphere 553 "PRACTICINGDEMOCRACY" INA THEATRICAL PUBLIC SPHERE Headlines has a company. "Practicing Democracy" ran about 20 minutes." The role of the Joker and facilitate the point appropriate was to encourage by yelling the participation of the audience . 2004. performed and a of the play followed forum called performance technique in two parts. safety for seniors Vancouver. Headlines government anticipated by the Theatre solicited like to at the residents on which input from Vancouver topic they would most see addressed. youth in the city. central Vancouver. encompassing east. the "Joker. in light of this focus on democratic process." in this case David Diamond. The play the play that from March in three venues across Vancouver. First.3 In 2003. decision making piece to directly contribute Their use of a technique called forum theatre a report on the public's to generate view of a key below) (described social issue.4 of the play began in February 2004. or mediating the results of cuts to welfare in March BC provincial 2004. and together. The invited the audience to watch in the action the play again. they called their The Council. the core through they developed The development chosen people were material create was west. Next. made up of members largely play "Practicing Democracy. a Vancouver-based. not-for-profit of staging provocative theatre theatre to accept the recommendations that came out of the theatre piece as part a short-list of four topics on of their deliberation." Coalition of Progressive of the left-leaning Electors. to pieces designed long history debate. voted unanimously plan was to make Theatre. had been affected participants by the use of interactive theatre games. the cuts to welfare. the happens actors performed the play without interruption. was performed 3 to 21. Headlines initiate and support approached public in creating a theatre to solicit their cooperation Vancouver Council City to democratic in Vancouver. At this time.

City Council by soliciting a report from the recommendations that arose hiring a lawyer to create to understand it is quite plausible the play. As of this writing. during as a process of deliberative democracy. In the case of "Practicing actors to offer solutions conversation issues David Diamond then turned to the wider audience and Democracy.554 Jacqueline Kennelly out of an audience's to resolve that emerged the attempts an audience member in the play. by the Council. 24).5 Process Outstanding "Practicing Democracy" The forum as a Deliberative theatre process that "Practicing Democracy" used can easily as belonging within the spectrum of Habermas' (1996) "widely and differentiated (1996) (p. "plurality manner to bridge their own realm in which Headlines Theatre attempted be seen within and that of formal municipal is of note in society with politics was to bring citizens also designed itself. and then turned into a report. and improvised the remaining to the problem." them to consider asked for their input on this issue. and the facilitated discussion witnessed are examples of how Headlines fostered a public after each intervention. Habermas that is worked up (1996) also notes that "[t]he public opinion cannot via democratic into communicative 'rule' by power procedures in specific the use of administrative itself. The process whereby (Habermas. The Headlines play a to mutual communication into oriented "public together audience 1996. and prompted for Vancouver's Council. too. (p. "Practicing Democracy" . many of the this report was presented that came out of the play have been incorporated into recommendations the work issues of various committees consideration are still under of the City of Vancouver. to create mutual intended communicative space understanding. 24). With all this in mind. or Benhabib's expanded public spheres" the innovative of association" of modes Indeed. understanding" civil of were on members to participate to resolve the dilemmas encouraged they that took place the stage. 29). This. The suggestions City specific policy were recorded by a lawyer. 73). suggestions to City Council. When shouted he or she "Stop. is exactly the process of Vancouver and the cooperation undertook. p." with took the place of one of the actors. but can only point power Theatre that Headlines directions" (p.

We and at always "play" is a deliberate offer we to make ourselves depend their world community. Arendt makes use of the extensive of metaphor theatre when describing her understanding of the public sphere. they relied on audience (Curtis. 37-40) that marks appearances" theatre alike. The two are akin because a role. 1971. to and toward moving our take on the world is. making possible public exchange Curtis how describes (Villa. 1997). The actors on stage were. community offered as themselves and their take on the world. Kimberley (1997) perceptions Arendt's plurality As the use of theatre and the public reference at for the as a metaphor illuminates the dynamics between sphere. 1997. "others' The actors then relied on by the cuts to welfare. 41) The process can be of "Practicing Democracy" mapped directly onto this of the process of self-presentation and response that happens description in the public sphere. while conceal who also. to a performing a of Vancouver residents. playing are from the rest of the world. to shape than create a space for administrative in power exchanges a medium It also provided for actors and audience specific members alike to demonstrate their "who-ness" the "space of through the public sphere and (Arendt. of course. own in turn. The experience for the audience of "Practicing Democracy" different from the experience of an audience completely at a more . actor on a stage is always to a specific responding that upon presence our a specific audience. pp. urge. display.Acting Out" in the Public Sphere 555 "Practicing Democracy" "Practicing Democracy" creative communicative directions. and to intervene in the action to try a new was thus who through members resolution self-display" to yell "Stop" to the issue at hand. their very actions all citizens are actors. so too our efforts effort plural eliciting others' self-presentation self-presentation of others. however. developed through their participation in the Headlines Theatre workshop others alongside had been own affected urge. Indeed. (p. somewhat they a of ideas and paradoxically. to make their presence in the world felt that is. felt through Intrinsic to our the upon self in presentation. world's in the world perceptivity. p 41). in turn. The actors specific community. as a Theatre of Appearances did more.

which plurality to a tokenistic often gets reduced inclusion of people who are supposed Through to represent understand who their communities. perhaps supports Arendt's that although "all forms of human give us some sensation togetherness constraints. and the audience would intervene someone remain passive. spoke up. got up from his or her seat in the audience get up. from people an Arendtian a range of human creates space for as wide perspective. although knew it. too. as possible. especially to being passively become culture entertained. There were moments vulnerable when it seemed space that as if no one would in the action. A truly ethical public sphere. the use of a forum theatre piece explicitly Through plurality on the experiences in an of people based generally marginalized Theatre succeeded society. Even those who onto in the audience would David interest Diamond of time of information. I had yelled vision of a possible remained and stepped Iwas ostensibly "Stop" and to the solution were to the stage. This is not the same as a call for diversity. the audience on stage. "Practicing to try on the show. them onto with that appearances is the stage. (p. of the realm" in the individuals' "who-ness" revealing the true nature of their constitutive appearances. public sphere is revealed. this process of of for our awareness of intensifying in the merciless is greatest brightness reality.. in creating a public of civic deliberation it is an opportunity to deeply to the and insights that belong . before I taking stepped onto the stage to carry out my issue at hand. of experiences the plurality share democratic spaces. consumer that has of reality making public . 46). felt compelled notes for this research. belief. I. theatre.. But always. as stated by Curtis (1997).556 Jacqueline Kennelly traditional remains theatrical passive and show. Whereas veiled in traditional from the actors to become largely the audience required Democracy" to carry their different personae. Rather. Headlines inegalitarian than most far more ethical other forms sphere through its foregrounding of plurality. recipients hardly passive cut off the flow of discussion in the regularly That this could so accustomed in a take place. the potential it fuller and deeper.

and engaging of living in poverty people in a democratic to expand their role as citizens. the process could only as good as its as to attend. In one scene. inspiration "Practicing Democracy" to democracy in ways contributed that are both unique and necessary. However. the realities community-based pedagogical the citizens of Vancouver about simultaneously educating in an affluent city."6 This was not a question but a intervening statement. "You understand on this stage is important. He was challenging to face its own reluctance the audience to know what involved in Vancouver. David Diamond up with his intervention at the end of the intervention audience and said. It also experiment.time and same as any other process limits contained the space constraints allowed only a few voices to be heard. The scene rolled on. those who and the consultation was only when as be ." At this point. and the audience silence. bothered representative in light of Arendt's considered of thought and the scholarship political those who take from her. two actors were fighting over a stash of sat in members stolen fruit. stories of those living on the margins. David tendencies the audience members it brought participants. its reluctance happening a protective and thus lose layer of oblivion.Acting Out" in the Public Sphere 557 "Practicing Democracy" In addition as a Challenge toOblivion a space whereby to providing the actors' and audience's a plural and shared interests could be explored within unique humanity also posed a powerful public/theatrical sphere. or living on the street. and suggestion. Diamond made use of this shock to the audience reality to urge intervene on stage. "Practicing Democracy" to any oblivious challenge carried into the theatre might have that night. as a medium of consultation "Practicing Democracy" . practice designed served as an example of a facilitator. Through both subject matter and to light that which is often hidden from view: the stigmatized by In his role as of the label of being the Joker. nobody the action and would turned intervene in this scene. was to become CONCLUSIONS: IMPLICATIONSFORDEMOCRATIC EDUCATION On the surface. on welfare. David "I need Diamond to know to the audience: stopped that people a man spoke turned to the that you are fighting over food in food line-ups now.

way citizenship assess is to critically what kinds of lesson. For example.com. preparing and the editors of this and helpful NOTES 1 feedback. reminder of what it means students by and forms of exclusion wrought from social prevailing is in danger of good as a to participate in a democratic public sphere. and seem acknowledge helpful anonymous Jo-Anne Dillabough. egalitarian usefully ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I gratefully for due their very to the exchanges. and Mona Gleason Also. of oblivion? honour and nurture plurality.headlinestheatre. theories been marked education contemporary citizenship a neoliberal discourse concerned with producing being co-opted by serves Theatre's Headlines consumers. democratic citizenship schooling encourage challenge communicative the politics such goals may Although are that of "Practicing the lessons abstract." more information on Headlines Theatre and their work. 4 I have taken all details of the and preparation. and can be to democratic creative alternatives participation taken up to create more genuinely spaces of learning. planning implementation of the play from David Diamond's introduction to the . important Can Canadian schools are producing. 2000). "Practicing Democracy" inequalities. in reviewers Deirdre Kelly. by analyzing "Practicing Democracy" of the public sphere. see www. I have illustrated how it poses a powerful to conceptions and citizenship in mainstream of democracy challenge Whereas for citizenship has historically Canadian educating schooling. Democracy" impossibly do exist. to such exercises in democracy could be one Exposing Canadian to expand A more the dialogue around education. studies have shown that middle class children from the culture tend to do best on standardized (generally white) their of the cultural capital they have accrued because through background (Neito. issue many for their thanks generous are suggestions this article.558 Jacqueline Kennelly in light of political In addition. dominant 2 "cosmopolitan 3 For testing family Katharyne Mitchell (2003) also calls this form of citizenship citizenship. however.

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