On the Ethics of Non-Disclosure: a Roundtable with Urban Theatre Projects and Collaborators

Tim Carroll, Roslyn Oades, Alicia Talbot, Bryoni Trezise, Caroline Wake


In ‘The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents’, Claire Bishop discusses some uncomfortable tensions between the ‘ethical imperative’ of collaborative activity and the aesthetic imperative of “good” art (2006). Bishop argues that the ‘best collaborative practices . . . reflect on this antinomy both in the structure of the work and in the conditions of its reception’. Sydney-based Urban Theatre Projects (UTP) have been creating socially and politically engaged works for the past twenty-seven years (formerly as Death Defying Theatre). Their stated aims are to ‘reflect stories and images of contemporary life’, to engage with ‘diverse cultures and communities’, and to ‘explore new territory in contemporary arts practice and collaborative processes through a synthesis of artists, site, ideas and public dialogue’. (See their website for more information: www.urbantheatre.com.au).

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Bishop, Claire. ‘The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents’, Artforum 44.6 (February 2006): 178-184.

Dunne, Stephen. ‘A Band On The Run From Gritty Life At The Margin’ Sydney Morning Herald 23 October (2001): Metropolitan, 18.

--- ‘Go Westie, Young Man’ Sydney Morning Herald 20 January (2006): 13.

Etchells, Tim. Certain Fragments: Contemporary Performance and Forced Entertainment (London: Routledge, 1999).

Hage, Ghassan. Against Paranoid Nationalism: Searching for Hope in a Shrinking Society (Annandale: Pluto Press, 2003).

Maxwell, Ian. ‘The Middle Years: Death Defying Theatre Transformed’: 1-9. http://www.urbantheatre.com.au/downloads/themiddleyears.pdf

McEwan, Celina. ‘An Empowering Practice?: Urban Theatre Projects’ Recent Work in Residence, Community Cultural Development and International Arts Festivals’, Australasian Drama Studies 50 (April 2007): 123-137.

Talbot, Alicia. ‘Performing Trauma’, ‘After Effects: Trauma, Memory, Performativity’ Symposium, University of NSW, November 28 (2008).

Williams, David. ‘All in the Re-telling’, RealTime 70 (Dec-Jan 2005): 41. http://www.realtimearts.net/article/issue70/7994


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