© 2017

Risk, Participation, and Performance Practice

Critical Vulnerabilities in a Precarious World

  • Alice O'Grady
  • Brings together a range of established contributors on performance and risk research

  • Interrogates how risk is presented to new audiences in a variety of encounters

  • Asks who and what is at risk in performance work that leaves things to chance


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. The Ethics of Risky Aesthetics: Moral Codes, Being Decent, and Doing it Right

  3. Performing Intimacies: Flirting, Whispering, and Sharing Stories in the Dark

  4. Risking the Self: Identities, Playing with Risk, and Encountering the Edge

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 261-264

About this book


This book explores a range of contemporary performance practices that engage spectators physically and emotionally through active engagement and critical involvement. It considers how risk has been re-configured, re-presented and re-packaged for new audiences with a thirst for performances that promote, encourage and embrace risky encounters in a variety of forms. The collection brings together established voices on performance and risk research and draws them into conversation with next generation academic-practitioners in a dynamic reappraisal of what it means to risk oneself through the act of making and participating in performance practice. It takes into account the work of other performance scholars for whom risk and precarity are central concerns, but seeks to move the debate forwards in response to a rapidly changing world where risk is higher on the political, economic and cultural agenda than ever before.


participatory performance risky aesthetics risk and aesthetics performance and vunerability audience risk

Editors and affiliations

  • Alice O'Grady
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Alice O’Grady is Professor in Applied Performance and Head of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds, UK. With a background in drama education, her research is focused on examining the ways in which performance, participation and play activate social agency and engagement across a diverse range of contexts.

Bibliographic information


“This is a wide-reaching and timely volume with a firm focus on twenty-first century performance. Traversing applied, socially-engaged and experimental practices, and featuring a broad range of perspectives by theorists and practising scholars, it marks out unique opportunities at the disposal of theatre and performance makers to explore vulnerability and precarity in a century already plagued by catastrophe.” (Adam Alston, Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Surrey, UK)