Carnival of the Here and Now
The carnivalesque live in the moment. The order of hierarchy and structure is suspended so mischief may prevail in the here and now. Appearing mischievous in an institution of high care seems unlikely but what limitations do we put on risk in the weight of developing prototypes that enhance social health and promote inclusion? The Carnival of the Here and Now is a form of immersive theatre that is not themed or structured. It relies on free play and improvisation, direct and indirect in its approach. A combination of whimsical intimate exchanges work alongside curious solo antics, artists filling the spaces and staking claim for surprise and delight. A community audience becomes participatory in nature joining the residents, care staff, families and skilled arts practitioners in this transformative experience. From its early conception, the learnings consistently highlight the benefits of providing an environment for self-determined participation as an alternative to structured entertainment in aged care.