Using Theatre and Performance for Promoting Health and Wellbeing amongst the 50+ Community: An Arts-informed Evaluation

By Katherine Wimpenny and Maggi Savin-Baden.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 4, 2014 $US5.00

There is increasing interest in the use of arts-based media to improve the health and wellbeing of the older population. Whilst there have been a number of initiatives in this area, there have been relatively few arts-informed evaluations of such interventions. This paper worked with a local theatre to design an evaluation that was an arts-based intervention. What is novel about the approach adopted here is that not only was the study user-guided, but the study also adopted a new and emerging form of arts-informed inquiry, which offered clarity to the evaluation that is not seen in some of the earlier methods available. The findings of the study indicate that theatre and performance provided opportunities for diverse marginalised members of a community to connect and participate in a shared activity and transform their views of themselves and others in ways that were beneficial for health and wellbeing.

Keywords: Arts-informed Inquiry, Evaluation, Older People, Wellbeing

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 8, Issue 1, April 2014, pp.47-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.163MB)).

Dr. Katherine Wimpenny

Research Fellow, Learning Innovation, Coventry University, Coventry, Warwickshire, UK

Dr. Wimpenny is a research fellow in learning innovation at Coventry University and a senior occupational therapy lecturer within the School of Social, Therapeutic, and Community Studies. Katherine has a developing portfolio of research expertise in the use of innovative methodologies such as arts-based inquiry, qualitative research synthesis, participatory action synthesis, and participatory action research.

Professor Maggi Savin-Baden

Director of Learning Innovation, Learning Innovation, Coventry University, Coventry, Warwickshire, UK

Professor Savin-Baden is the director of learning innovation and has a longstanding and international reputation for her work in the area of learning and digital media, as well as her use of innovative research methodologies. Maggi’s expertise and experience in qualitative research is substantial and multi-professional.