Can We Perform Our Way to Power?

As the practice, understanding and appreciation for performance and play continue to grow, the world context in which it spreads becomes more conflicted. Globalization and the rapid spread of technology spur economic and social growth, while at the same time they produce and exacerbate poverty, war, famine, mass migrations, violence and environmental contamination.

This cultural/political crossroads raises anew the question of power. How is it created? What are the limitations and where are the opportunities for ordinary people to exercise power? Increasing numbers of artists, educators, psychologists and academics are attracted to performance because of its creative power as an alternative modality to “knowing” and “authority.” By the same token, many activists and community organizers have become increasingly concerned with creating and discovering new approaches to human development and political crisis, as old and traditional tools for progressive change have proven to be inadequate to the times.

It is from this perspective, that we come to the theme of Performing the World 2016: Can We Perform Our Way To Power? The current distribution of power is, at best, limiting and, at worst, destructive to humanity. Performance challenges the status quo by creating new ways of relating, new ways of learning, new ways of seeing and feeling, new kinds of institutions—new possibilities of all sorts.

We invite participation from performers and performance scholars, psychologists and social workers, physicians and nurses, educators and youth workers, community organizers and activists, and all others for whom performance offers a new kind of tool in their human development, community building and political organizing work.

The sponsors of Performing the World 2016 are the All Stars Project, Inc. and the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy. PTW will be held at the All Stars Project’s performance and development center on 42nd Street in New York City.

If you would like to make a presentation at PTW 2016, please complete the Presenter Proposal Form here. Proposals are due February 28, 2016.

Conference Fees:
Before June 1, 2016…………………  USD $240.00*
After June 1, 2016…………………..  USD $295.00*

* There is no one-day rate for the conference.

Register here.

A key part of the Performing the World experience is the person-to-person connection — the building of new relationships with people from around the globe. If your attendance at the conference is dependent on having a place to stay during the conference, our Housing Committee will make every effort to find you a bed or a couch in a home of a New Yorker. Forms are available on the website.

For any questions about your visa or registration, please contact Melissa Meyer at 212-941-8906, ext 304. For questions related to proposals, please contact Sarah Plotkin at 212-356-8431 or email us at For all further inquiries, contact Lois Holzman, Conference Chair, at