Can Performance Save the World?
October 4-7, 2012

The seventh Performing the World (PTW) conference will be held in New York City, Thursday, October 4 through Sunday October 7, 2012. International, cross-disciplinary, conversational, experiential, and practical-critical, PTW has come over the decade to play an increasingly important role in supporting and expanding the performance turn around the world. If you practice and/or study performance as a means of individual, community and world transformation (or want to), PTW is for you.

The theme of the last PTW, held in 2010 and attended by over 500 people from dozens of countries, was, Can Performance Change the World? The depth of the challenges facing humanity two short years later have led the conveners of Performing the World to recast the question for the 2012 conference as, Can Performance Save the World?

Deadlocked governments, protracted wars, dysfunctional education systems, and a deepening global economic crisis with no apparent solution have become the norm. At the same time, the activity of performance (and playing and pretending and creating?), as an alternative to the cognitive- and/or faith-based solutions of traditional ideology, continues to spread both at the grassroots and in the university, with the non-ideological, improvisatory movements struggling to embody this trend. PTW is looking for proposals, be they for panels, workshops, performances, demonstrations, installations, etc., that address this question, Can performance save the world? from a multitude of perspectives, including but not limited to:

 *   Does performance contribute to people seeing/being in the world in new ways?
 *   Can we perform our way to ending poverty?
 *   Performance and community building and sustainability
 *   The interface of theatre performance and performance in daily life
 *   Performance and learning
 *   Performance and youth development, in school and out
 *   Performance and the Elderly
 *   Performance, play and therapeutics
 *   The relationship of performance to physical and emotional healing
 *   Health and the performance of medicine (East and West)
 *   New model of community health and human rights
 *   What is creative conversation and how can it take place in polarized (and violent) environments?
 *   The role of theatre and performance in war and conflict zones
 *   What is play and its role in human creativity and development?
 *   The social context of creativity
 *   When reasoning and argument fail, what then?
 *   Performance and the creation of history
 *   Does knowing get in the way of performing?
 *   The role of cognition/reflection in performance
 *   The performance of language and the language of performance
 *   Performance and organizational culture
 *   The role of performance in politics and revolution
 *   Does it take pretending to make change real?

We envision Performing the World 2012 as a marathon performance of conversation with people from all over the world, scholars and researchers; educators, therapists, social workers, youth workers; doctors and other health workers; theatre, applied theatre and other performance artists; social activists and community organizers; business leaders and philanthropists; film, video and media creatives; and others.

The sponsors of Performing the World 2012 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.

Proposal submission forms are available at

Proposals are due March 1, 2010.

Conference Fees
Before July 1, 2012:            $235 (US)
After July 1, 2012:            $275 (US)
[NOTE: there is no one-day rate.]

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 you need a place to stay during the conference, our International Host Committee will make every effort to find you one in a home of a New Yorker. Forms are available on the website.

Additional information about the conference, and forms for registration, housing and financial aid can be found on the website, <>. For any questions please contact conference producer Diane Stiles at 212-356-8412.