Performing the World ’08
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

 Announcement and Call for Proposals

The conveners of Performing the World, the conference/festival of the growing international performance movement, are excited to announce that the fifth Performing the World will be held in New York City from October 2-5, 2008. The event will showcase innovative practice and scholarship and provide a rich context for learning and performing together.

A New Location, A New Kind of Conference

Performing the World ’08 (PTW ’08) builds on the momentum of 2007’s PTW 4, which brought together 300 practitioners, scholars and community activists—educators, youth workers, researchers, psychologists and therapists, health and helping professionals, business people, artists and activists from 27 countries. PTW ’08 is bringing the international performance movement to the streets of New York—and introducing the performance movement to the communities of New York City.

For the first time, the All Stars Project, an organization recognized for its highly successful performance-based outside-of-school developmental programs for young people and its Castillo Theatre, joins the East Side Institute as a co-sponsor of the conference.  PTW ’08 will be based out of the All Stars’ performance and development center on 42nd Street near Times Square, and will be hosted by young people from around the city. Workshops and performances will take place there and at theatres, schools and other venues throughout Manhattan and other boroughs. New Yorkers from virtually every neighborhood will open up their homes to out-of-towners, not only to save on hotel costs, but also to incorporate the diversity of family and neighborhood into the experience of the weekend and to build person-to-person ties between ordinary New Yorkers and performance activists and scholars from around the world.



PTW ’08 invites proposals from all who are involved in performance work that is related to cultural, economic or psychological development, community-building, social justice, citizenry, individual and social transformation, social entrepreneurship, etc. We are looking for a variety of presentation types, including workshops, conversations, demonstrations, discussions and panels. We encourage a playfulness and experimentation for all presentations, especially with regard to theory and data.

This year’s theme, “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,” encourages participants to attend to history and process—their own and that of the performance movement. We are particularly interested in examinations/explorations of the shift from a cognitive to a performative approach to understanding, interacting with and (re)creating the world as embodied in the work of the participants and/or those they with whom they work/play/ study. Also of interest is the performance movement’s interaction with and impact on the “big issues” facing the world— poverty, war and peace, sustainability, democracy, globalization, cultural diversity and creativity, the list could go on. The second day of PTW ‘08 will be devoted to “An International Celebration of Youth” and we encourage those interested to submit proposals relative to youth, youth performance and youth development for that day.

Fields of Interest:

  • Applied Theatre
  • Improvisation
  • Performance Studies
  • Youth Development
  • Participatory Research and Evaluation
  • Political and Community Organizing


  • Education
  • Drama in Education
  • Psychology and Psychotherapy
  • Community Development
  • Medicine and Health Care
  • Organizational Change, Business and Management

A sampling of conversational themes, panels, workshops and performances:

  • Performance as a Community Building Methodology
  • Postmodern Creativity and Performance
  • Knowing, Not Knowing and Performing
  • Performance and Politics
  • Performance in Daily Life
  • The Therapeutics of Performance
  • The Creativity of the Group, Ensemble and Community
  • Theatre and Community
  • The Creativity of Improvisation
  • Performing, Improvising and Learning
  • The Power of Play