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Theatre Pedagogy and Performed Research: Respectful Forgeries and Faithful Betrayals (Report)

Theatre Research in Canada 2007, Fall, 28, 2

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Scholars in the fields of education, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies have, in recent years, turned to theatre as an arts-based mode of representation and dissemination of research. Theatre, broadly defined, has been exploited to express a range of ethnographic, auto/biographic, and case-study research findings. Proponents of theatre-based research presentations--called, variously, performed ethnography, ethnodrama, arts-based research--might argue that knowledge is both presented and disseminated more powerfully and effectively than is the case with the conventional research report, scholarly article, or book. This mode of research representation is also increasingly used for its particular pedagogical strengths in teacher education (Gallagher; Goldstein; Conrad; Saldana; Norris; Donmoyer and Yennie-Donmoyer; Mienczakowski) both by researchers/teachers who have formal theatre expertise and by those who do not. These researchers are "committed to harnessing drama to cultural engagement, social intervention and educational change" (Nicholson 119). Given this proliferation of interest in theatre-based research, it is timely, then, for those of us in the field of drama education to pose some of the more difficult ethical and artistic questions that have arisen, particularly as they might influence how we use performed research as a teaching "tool" in the building of future school drama teachers. I have become particularly interested, as a drama practitioner and social scientist, in understanding the role of artistic provocation in engendering dialogue. In a set of ethnographic scenes titled Sexual Fundamentalism and Performances of Masculinity: An Ethnographic Scene Study that I have written and performed from my recently completed research project (1), I came to wonder why I had chosen to express some of the most important qualitative findings from this project through the vehicle of theatre. I would suggest that to expressly create ethnographic scenes from class-room-based research, to use theatre as metaphor in order to make explicit the performances of identity in these charged environments, is to put the "once removed" frame around these "data" but also to keep alive the immediacy of the discourse and the tensions and theatrical turns of everyday life. This attempt to use theatre--rather than present these research stories in more traditional qualitative narrative or reportage form--is to draw from theatre's potency, its economy of expression, and its embodied character in order to serve the creativity, the performativity, and the reflective engagement that is at the centre of critical ethnographic research.

Theatre Pedagogy and Performed Research: Respectful Forgeries and Faithful Betrayals (Report)
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  • 2,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Performing Arts
  • Published: 22 September 2007
  • Publisher: University of Toronto, Graduate Centre for Study of Drama
  • Print Length: 21 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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