In recent years, there has been a change of culture in the academic environment: researchers are now strongly encouraged to collaborate across disciplines and develop strategies to engage non-specialist publics with the processes and results of their work. Often, artistic researchers are brought in to provide the ‘window dressing’ that allows other research disciplines to more effectively communicate their ‘hard data’. However, in Burning the Circle, a project that emerged from a collaboration between researchers in Archaeology, History, Music and Theatre Studies, and industry partners Northlight Heritage and National Trust for Scotland, emphasis was given to how artistic activities, in this case performance, produce formally specific insights through their particular mediality and the modes of sensorial engagement they produce. In this article, we approach the event from our perspective as artist-scholars in performance-based disciplines to begin to consider how performance might play a more central and productive role in interdisciplinary public engagement events.
- historically informed performance
- postdramatic theatre
- public engagement
- interdisciplinary collaboration