The merging of performance into the public sphere has expanded the space for participation into urban and cultural landscapes through modes of activating audiences and audience participation. This movement towards the social was predicated, in part, by the historical trajectory of theater and performance-based art, placing it in the lineage of the avant-garde theater and other post-war avant-garde participatory models of the 1960s and 1970s. This thesis situates the socially-based practice of the Los Angeles artist collective, Finishing School, within this historical and theoretical trajectory that extends the “stage” to audiences, and illustrates the performability of this socially-based practice, as it relates to their 2010 California Biennial project, 54. This thesis works in the realm of interrogatives (i.e. what are the issues that a project like this raises?), and for this analysis, I conducted fieldwork, which includes a series of interviews, archival research, and onsite observations, focusing on snapshots of process. My goal: to allow room for both self reflexivity and critical analysis within the text while emblematically emphasizing the role I perform inside/outside.