The how-little-is-enough approach to performance making.



The question, how little is enough? has engendered an approach to theatre-making centred on reduced production, attention to existing resources, and to what is needed. The question is relative, influenced by what it is placed against, and it affects factors such as materials, energy, labour, and distance. 

In my research, the primary goal is to achieve the transformative potential of a performative encounter through minimal means. To navigate this path, I consistently apply the how-little-is-enough approach to decision-making. This means being mindful of what is essential for creating an environment conducive to transformative encounters. Whether selecting a host, site, or thematic framework, I ask how to achieve the intended outcome with minimal resources, energy, and complications. This approach guides my decisions, keeping focus on the core essence of the performance while considering its ethical and sustainable implications. 


Host Selection 

When choosing a host, I deliberately select sites and individuals with whom I have existing connections. This choice allows me to build upon established foundations, nurturing my own existential sustainability, taking into account the energy needed to cultivate new relationships. I find collaborating with familiar entities not only less intrusive but also ethically sound when drawing from individuals' lived experiences. 


Local and Global Engagement 

Emphasizing work within my immediate community demonstrates care for the neighbourhood and promotes sustainability. This approach extends beyond performances to my research methodology, utilizing local knowledge and engaging regional artists. Combining this local approach with global awareness, enriches the work and fosters responsible engagement with the broader artistic and scholarly community. 


Performance Site and Creative Framework 

After selecting a performance site, I explore its inherent qualities, and develop a framework centered around key themes to engage local participants. The framework is designed to be simple and porous, utilizing content already present at the site along with contributions from guests. 


Principle of Minimal Intervention 

Central to this approach is using only what is available on-site, introducing only new guests and relations while refraining from adding new materials. This downscaling does not diminish artistic value but rather removes excess, giving space for personal connection. 


Leaving space ...

An aspect of the how-little-is-enough approach is also applicable to the production of research output. I have followed the Japanese principle of hara hachi bu, which advocates only filling the stomach up to eighty percent. For my readers, I offer small plates, each of which alone may not satisfy their hunger. However, between the plates offered within the porous structure of my dissemination, coupled with what the reader brings in, there should be enough nourishment for new thoughts and insights. The intention is to provide sufficient material to awaken curiosity and foster engagement, rather than presenting finished theories. 


The how-little-is-enough approach balances reduced production with amplified artistic, aesthetic, and sustainable considerations. It prioritizes meaningful engagement, local and global connections, and a thoughtful approach to creating transformation through performative encounters. This philosophy ensures the performance's aesthetic quality without compromising its sustainability.