PLAYING UP: A Live Art Game for Kids and Adults

Ongoing Project

PLAYING UP is an artwork by Sibylle Peters, exploring the potential of Live Art to bridge generations. Drawing on key Live Art themes and seminal works, PLAYING UP takes the form of a game played by adults and kids together.

PLAYING UP was launched at Tate Modern, London, with a three day free public ‘play-in’ in the Turbine Hall on 1, 2 and 3 April 2016, followed by a major symposium on 4 April 2016 with leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.

“Kids are explorers of the everyday. For them to light a match can be something extraordinary that needs focus and time and creates an experience. The same is true for everyone who practices Live Art. For us kids are perfect accomplices. And in return Live Art can provide something that is essential to all of us, but especially to kids and their well being: the acknowledgement of their action and their thinking, the reassurance that everything counts, that everything can make a difference, the frame of beauty and reflection and the experience that we can set it up anytime and anywhere we want. PLAYING UP is a playful, hands-on introduction to Live Art for everyone.” Sibylle Peters, Theatre of Research

Read about PLAYING UP. We commissioned writer Mary Paterson to reflect on the PLAYING UP Launch and Symposium (2016)

View the Playing Up dedicated website.

In an article for Arts Professional related to PLAYING UP, Liz O’Neill asks: Is ‘live art’ the perfect medium for intergenerational arts projects?.

Lyn Gardner has written an article about the PLAYING UP launch in the Guardian

“Without a doubt one of the most important resources available for Live Art and young people IN THE WORLD.” Robert Daniels, University of Chichester and Bootworks Theatre, 2017

In 2021, the PLAYING UP Gender edition was launched by FUNDUS THEATER | Theatre of Research, in cooperation with the Live Art Development Agency. Read more below, and visit the PLAYING UP Gender website. 

Make clothes out of food, lie on top of cars, dance with animals, try bagism, make a ketchup fight, follow a random passerby through the city, remote control your parents, invent your own Live Art form of sports, search for miracles, walk through London with a map of Paris, invent an alter ego of the opposite gender, deconstruct electrical devices, and build what-happens-next-machines!


PLAYING UP is a game played by adults and kids together. Players are presented with a pack of cards, organized using six different categories which cover different strategies of Live Art. Each card references a specific Live Art piece or event followed by an instruction to be carried out by the players. Players randomly select a card and then follow the given instructions. More details

Buy the PLAYING UP game on Unbound for £10

Buy Playing Up
A shirtless man with a drawing of a house on his back draws on a child's back. The child draws on a paper on the wall. Playing Up Test Day. Live Art & Children Playing Up Test Day, Image by Alex Eisenberg


PLAYING UP Public Play Ins

PLAYING UP public Play Ins are an energetic and enjoyable game that involves kids and their accompanying adults working together as a team to complete activities and tasks in order to create their own work of Live Art. Individual activities last between 20 and 60 minutes and players can choose to do one or all of the artworks available throughout the duration of the event.

Please contact Theatre of Research on [email protected] if you would like to collaborate on a public Play In.

Selected Past Play Ins:

Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2019
Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 May 2019
Norwich, UK

More info

OFFTA 2019
Friday 24 May to Sunday 2 June 2019
Peace Square
Montreal Quebec, Canada

More info

Copenhagen Contemporary
Wednesday 17 – Sunday 21 April 2019
Copenhagen, Denmark

More info

The Substation and Melbourne Fringe
Wednesday 26 to Friday 28 September 2018
Melbourne, Australia

More info

Arsenal of Ideas 2018
Wednesday 26 to Sunday 30 September 2018
Kyiv, Ukraine

More info

ANTI Festival 2018
Tuesday 25 to Sunday 30 September 2018
Kuopio, Finland

More info

Fierce Play
Saturday 11 August 2018
12 – 6pm
Turbine Hall, Tate Modern,
London, UK

More info

Playing Up Art Trolley
Holiday activity for kids and adults to play together
Level 3 concourse of the Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern,
London, UK

More info

Practice and Power
Venue: The LAB Gallery & Liberty Park
Saturday 23 June 2018
11am – 4pm

More info

Experimentica 2018
Venue: Chapter
Sunday 15 April 2018
Cardiff, UK

More info

Tate Britain
Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 April 2018
12pm – 5pm
London, UK

More info

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Museums At Night
Saturday 20 May 2017
5.30pm – 10pm
Coventry, UK

More Info

In Between Time 2017
Saturday 11 – Sunday 12 February 2017
Venue: Arnolfini
11am to 5pm
Bristol, UK

More Info

PLAYING UP was featured at Beta Public 6, an event exploring the intersections of games and performance at Camden People’s Theatre, London between the 8 and 10 November.

More info

Compass Festival
Saturday 19 November 2016
Venue: Leeds City Museum
11am to 4pm
Leeds, UK

More info

SPILL Festival of Performance
Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October 2016
Venue: SPILL Dome
1pm to 5pm
Ipswich, UK

More info

Hijack Children’s Festival
Wednesday 26 October 2016
Venue: Komedia
10am to 4pm
Brighton, UK

More info

Cambridge Junction
Sunday 25 September 2016
Venue: J3
12 to 4pm
Cambridge, UK

More info

Latitude Festival
Saturday 16 July 2016
Venue: Live Art House
11am to 1pm
Suffolk, UK

More info


Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London
Friday 1 April 2016, 12-7pm
Saturday 2 April 2016, 12-7pm
Sunday 3 April 2016, 12-6pm
Free – turn up and take part

PLAYING UP was launched with a three day public ‘play-in’, for kids and adults. Participants could take part as a team or on their own and Children Guides were there to welcome arrivals at the PLAYING UP desk. More details

PLAYING UP Symposium

Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern, London
4 April 2016
10am – 5.30pm
£15 (£10 concessions)
Buy now

The launch of PLAYING UP was marked with a major symposium with leading thinkers and practitioners in the field. Contributors include artists, researchers, curators and educators based in the UK and Germany. More details

Further Information 

PLAYING UP has been conceived and created by Sibylle Peters of Theatre of Research (Germany) and designed by David Caines. PLAYING UP is produced and published in a collaboration between the Live Art Development Agency (LADA, UK), FUNDUS THEATER / Theatre of Research (Germany), Tate Early Years and Family Programme (UK)Best Biennial (Sweden) and Live Art UK, with the generous support of the Goethe-Institut LondonPLAYING UP forms part of LADA’s contribution to the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) supported by Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. PLAYING UP, the game, has been designed by David Caines (with additional designs by Maja Bechert). Website by Alex Eisenberg     


2021 marks the launch of the PLAYING UP Gender edition. PLAYING UP Gender is a Live Art game for kids & adults and everybody in between. In allows participants to explore questions of gender by means of Live Art.  PLAYING UP Gender consists of 12 cards. Each card references a piece of Live Art and ends with an instruction, that allows players to reenact the piece. The game features pieces of Live Art from recent years and puts them in context with the history of Live Art and gender. The cards are selected and designed for all kinds of starting points within the gender spectrum and strive to open up escape routes from the gender binary by means of Live Art. The cards can be downloaded and played free of charge from the PLAYING UP Gender website.

PLAYING UP GENDER is a production of FUNDUS THEATER I Theatre of Research, in cooperation with the Live Art Development Agency.

It was designed by David Caines and developed by an international research group with Live Art Development Agency-LADA, Lois Keidan, Heike Roms, Finn Love, Jessie McLaughlin, Live Art Denmark, Negar Forough, Kristin Gelb (Green), Maike Gunsilius, Kristin Westphal, Friederike Dunger, Susan Sheddan, David Caines, Sibylle Peters, and Christopher Weymann among others.

Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

A photographic image of peoplewrapped in metallic fabric. The person nearest the camera is wearing gold fabric, and a white face mask - they are in profile. Four others can be seen in the background, wearing pink, purple and silver fabric, their heads turned away. The image sits on a black background with rainbow illustrations GENDER_GALACITC_FASHIONSHOW_c_GescherMeyer

Other projects in PLAYING UP: A Live Art Game for Kids and Adults

An artwork taking the form of a game, exploring the potential of Live Art to bridge generations

PLAYING UP Public Play-Ins 2017

Where you can find Public ‘Play Ins’ in 2017

Read more

PLAYING UP Public Play-Ins across the UK this Autumn

Where you can find Public ‘Play Ins’ across the UK in Autumn 2016

Read more


Extravagant Bodies: Crime and Punishment

LADA is hosting a London presentation of Extravagant Bodies: Crime and Punishment on 17 to 18 November 2017

Read more

Access All Areas at LADA

Addressing the lack of visibility for learning disabled and autistic artists within Live Art

Read more

SPILL Symposium

A two day gathering of influential international artists, producers and commentators.

Read more

Emergent Ties – Actioning Climate Justice (Accelerator Programme)

LADA is delighted to announce that our proposal on behalf of LADA & Live Art UK and Gasworks & Triangle Network has been accepted into the Accelerator Programme.

Read more

The Art of Noises: Where Live Art meets Music at Latitude

For Latitude LADA has curated an exciting line up of aurally fixated artists.

Read more

LADA and Swiss Live Art

LADA is working with Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council on a three-year initiative (2018-20) to raise the profile of Swiss Live Art in the UK and contribute to the development of exchanges and collaborations between artists and promoters in the UK and Switzerland.

Read more


performingborders shares and supports experimental performative practices addressing notions and lived experiences of borders.

Read more

Documenting Intimacy

Research initiative by Brian Lobel & Marisa Zanotti exploring the documentation of one-to-one performance

Read more