In ‘Digging up stories’, James Thompson explores the problems of theatre practice in communities affected by war and exclusion. Each chapter or ‘story’ is written in a lively and accessible style and draws on a range of contemporary performance theories. The chapters discuss: – participatory theatre in refugee camps – theatre workshop and stories of a massacre – traditional dance-dramas in an insurgent controlled village – ‘Forum’ theatre with the Mahabharata – ethical issues – the struggle to teach the author to dance ‘Digging up stories’ documents a range of theatre practice and includes project reports, ethnographic accounts, performance analysis and diary-style reflection. Taken from Thompson’s research and practice in Sri Lanka, these diverse examples question the link between applied theatre, traditional performance and performances in everyday life. The book blurs lines between research and travel writing to create rich and provocative accounts of applying theatre in a troubled setting.