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The ‘Not Knowns’: memory, narrative and applied theatre

Conroy, Colette; Dickenson, Sarah Jane; Mazzoni, Giuliana


Colette Conroy

Sarah Jane Dickenson

Giuliana Mazzoni


© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an attempt to articulate and explore the relationship between the science of memory and the applied theatre project, The Not Knowns. The project was a collaboration between theatre practitioners and a psychologist who worked together with a group of young people known, problematically, as the ‘not knowns’ throughout 2014. For applied theatre practitioners, notions of veracity are crucial, if complex, and go far beyond the practice of ‘giving voice’ to marginalised groups and people. Applied Theatre projects which work with participant autobiographies take on the responsibility of articulating the perspective as one of many possible truths, observing conventions which sustain a truth claim, but leaving this open for questioning. In this essay, the project collaborators examine the implications of the notion of memory as adaptable and malleable, as a factor in stasis or change, and as a story that may and must be re-told and re-remembered in an act of self-sustaining performativity.


Conroy, C., Dickenson, S. J., & Mazzoni, G. (2018). The ‘Not Knowns’: memory, narrative and applied theatre. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 23(1), 56-72.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 24, 2017
Online Publication Date Nov 16, 2017
Publication Date 2018
Deposit Date Dec 7, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 17, 2019
Journal Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance
Print ISSN 1356-9783
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 1
Pages 56-72
Keywords Literature and Literary Theory; Education; Visual Arts and Performing Arts
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:
Contract Date Dec 7, 2017


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