SUMMIT: A play by Andy Smith

Research output: Other contribution


Written and co-directed by Andy Smith, SUMMIT was funded by Arts Council England and produced by Fuel. For more information please visit:

The play tells a story of an international meeting (the summit of the title), assembled to address an as unnamed global crisis. The play tells this story in three acts, with three performers in three different languages (including fully integrated BSL).

The play addresses three primary strands of investigation from a practice-as-research perspective.

Firstly, the play forms part of Smith’s ongoing interrogation and research into how we might create work for theatre that thinks effectively towards socio-political change in the current, fluid context – a context that has been variously described or referred to, for example, as an era of ‘Liquid Modernity’ (Zygmunt Bauman) or as ‘end times’ (Zizek). Inspired by ideas presented in Jodi Dean’s book ‘The Communist Horizon’ as well as Ranciere's 'The Emancipated Spectator', the approach of thinking towards rather than offering clear and fixed points to reach is one that looks to offer an agency of personal thought and potential action to an audience rather than try to direct and dictate their thought and behaviour.

Secondly, the play emerges in a time where notions of accessibility and equality have been high on the agenda of arts organisations, the play explored and successfully integrated different languages and registers into the fabric of its performance, most obviously through its use of integrated British Sign Language. The production was also conscious in its casting and production by creating a team with a female bias as well asemploying actors from BAME backgrounds.

Finally, the play is part of Andy Smith’s wider and ongoing research into what he refers to as a ‘dematerialised theatre’. A theatre that — like the processes of conceptual art that inspired the name — attempts to do more with less. Smith has written and presented widely on this concept, and this instance is no exception. This submission is a portfolio of work including the published playtext with afterword (from Oberon Books), a short essay on the process of the play that appears in the book ‘Stages of Resistance’ (No Passport Press), as well as examinations of the methodologies that led to it in ‘The 21st Century Performance Reader’ (forthcoming from Routledge).
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputPlay/Performance
PublisherOberon Books
Number of pages96
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9781786825636
ISBN (Electronic)9781786825643
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2018

Publication series

NameOberon Modern Plays


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