Working with a Theatre Company: Exchanging Knowledge, Skills and Ideas about Fatherhood
Based on a collaborative relationship between Dr Laura King, a historian of fatherhood, and Babakas, an international theatre company, this talk will explore the possibilities offered in theatre-based engagement projects. Dr King worked as historical consultant on the theatre production 'Our Fathers', a production which explores issues of parenting, family life and relationships between different generations through the (largely autobiographical) stories of three performers. This was part of a wider public engagement initiative which began at the Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, entitled 'Hiding in the Pub to Cutting the Cord?'. As the show had toured around the UK, Dr King has chaired post-show panel discussions featuring experts on fatherhood, offering audience members to discuss some key issues relating to family life.
In this talk, Dr King will reflect on the benefits of collaboration between academic research and theatre practice; explore the influence the partnership had on both her future research and on Babakas's work, on 'Our Fathers' and in their future productions; and highlight the opportunities such relationships present. In particular, they will focus on the importance of genuinely interactive relationships, two-way exchange, and the opportunities of exchanging skills and ideas as well as knowledge.