Street Theatre | Performance Art Venue
We love using the street as a venue for performances of every variety! Today we’ll take a quick look at why the street is truly an amazing place to perform!
Purity of Street Theatre
You need no box office, stage, or manager to perform on the street, you just have to have something to perform! Some performance artists aren’t accepted by the mainstream or haven’t found an agent or venue that’s accepting. This isn’t a concern on the street!
It’s a very equalizing venue and welcomes all. Performance artists with an interest in social activism may choose to stage their work on the street as a means of directly confronting or engaging the public. Some artists consider a paying, theatre-going public to be unrepresentative of the public to whom they are trying to communicate, and performing to ‘the man on the street’ may be considered a more democratic form of dissemination.
Differences in Dynamic
Performing in the street for an unspecified or unkwown amount of passerby holds different possibilities than a predetermined crowd viewing from seats. Sue Gill of Welfare State International argues that a street theatre performance is not a lesser form than an indoor performance, nor is it simply taking what you do on stage and placing it outdoors, but a form with an energy and an integrity of its own.
A character-based street theatre which developed in the 1960s and 1970s was developed by groups like Lumiere and Son, John Bull Puncture Repair Kit, Exploded Eye and Natural Theatre Company. The performances were unannounced and featured characters who acted out a pre-arranged scenario, looking beautiful or surreal or simply just involving passers by in conversation. They did not seek to trick in a Candid Camera way, but rather invited the audience to pretend along with them. No planning or rehearsal could dictate what would happen, it was all improvisation!
Have you seen street theatre performed? What’s been your favorite performance?