Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Keeping Relaxed Performance Vital

Affective Pedagogy in the Arts

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2022), 16, (2), 179–196.


Relaxed Performance (RP) has emerged as an arts-based praxis implemented across sectors in response to disability and other justice-seeking communities’ desire to access the arts. Across Turtle Island (North America), RP is becoming the “gold standard” for accessible performance arts, as sector norms evolve to demand accessibility and inclusion, prompting a desire for RP training in higher education. The upswell of interest raises concerns that RP is at risk of becoming an increasingly sought-after pedagogical commodity whose vitality could be co-opted in the interests of standardization and universality. Taking up RP as a justice-driven arts intervention, the article argues for maintaining RP’s vitality in the face of access standardization. Drawing on RPs at three universities, the article describes the affective potential of non-standardized and crip theory-informed RP now and in the future.

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Author details

Collins, Kimberlee

Jones, Chelsea Temple

Rice, Carla