Making your research accessible
• take your research to new audiences
• give your research a unique practical application in addition to other dissemination and outreach work
• create innovative material based on research findings
• create a public space for dialogue, learning and knowledge exchange in your area of research
Engaging with the community
actREAL’s aim when working with academics is to make their research accessible and engaging to the public beyond the academic community. We do this by creating bespoke educational materials based on research findings using dramatic pieces, theatre and other participatory learning exercises. Throughout this process we collaborate closely with the researchers to accurately represent their work and to maintain overall cohesion with the project’s aims and objectives. These materials then form the basis of a programme of engagement to work with schools, colleges, young people or community groups, designed to facilitate knowledge exchange and learning. Taking academic research to the heart of society, actREAL provides a thought-provoking catalyst that aims to encourage social awareness through experiential learning, empathy and inhabiting other people’s stories and lives.
Programmes tailored to suit you
Each programme is tailored to suit the research project and the participating school or community organisation. Considerations in the programme-design beyond the conceptual and theoretical framework will include time constraints, scheduling issues, available funding, purpose of engagement, reach and impact.
The different elements that may be included in a bespoke programme are:
Basic background to the research project and its issues
Overview of the programme and aims
Using a combination of presentation, interactive activities, and discussion, initiating an open and safe space for dialogue
Tailored exercises that connect theatre and improvisation skills with the research material.
Existing theatre exercises will be used and adapted to develop individual and group performance skills.
Using the dramatic material based on the research, and under guidance of a drama practitioner, participants will devise a unique piece of theatre.
The workshop exercises will inform and develop this performance.
This can be performed (if desired by the project) to either a private or public audience, or both.
One of ActREAL’s key aims is to allow participants to feel ownership over the process by facilitating rehearsals rather than through strict direction (unless required), allowing the final performance to be informed by the participants’ ideas and contributions.
Q & A
The performance is followed by a Q&A session with the audience, performers and researchers.
The Q&A ensures understanding of the research issues for the audience as well as the participants, and is often hugely indicative of the audience’s reaction as well as that of the performers.
A short report that provides feedback on the learning experience and impact of the programme, based on audience feedback through a mini-survey, a brief focus group interview with participants, interviews with key staff, and observations throughout the project.
Working with us
We will always develop a bespoke package for you. However, as a guideline we offer three types of packages that can be included in your research project:
Level 1 Package
Three workshops, using theatrical methods to explore the research themes with participants
Level 2 Package
a. Development of script & materials
b. 10 week package with workshops and rehearsals
c. Mini media and marketing package, focusing on friends and family only
d. Photos of performance to take away
e. Non-edited recording of performance
Level 3 package
a. Development of script & materials
b. 10 week package with workshops and rehearsals with two groups
c. Public performance with extended media and marketing package
d. Photos and edited video of performance
e. Evaluation report & actREAL blog
Further elements can be developed and added according to a research project’s needs. These will be quoted for separately and can include:
Transcription of research interviews
Writing, design and printing of take-away Education Packs, which could include background information, fact sheets and contextual information
Get in touch to discuss what we can do for your project! We can join the project at many stages of the research process. However, often it is easier to collaborate early on so actREAL’s work can be incorporated into the project design and its dissemination strategy. Early involvement will also help us to familiarize ourselves with the topic and research material and can include interview transcription. Workshops can be run as part of the research process or for dissemination only. If this sounds of interest to you, please get in touch to tell us about your work and to talk about how we could work together. We are always interested in developing new ideas and ways of collaborating.
“I love that idea of bringing research and spreading it, because otherwise it can just get lost, [it’s] just for academics.”
Refugee and Migrant Support Worker at Capital City Academy
“...these activities enable me to learn more about how people engage with information in real-time. As a result, they generate new questions and insights that shape the directions of my ongoing research, sometimes in ways I couldn’t have predicted beforehand.”
Will Allen, University of Oxford