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Once On This Island - An Exploration of Nontraditional Casting

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Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against

Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against "type", which included the presentation of a full-length production of the musical "Once on this Island" which I attempted to cast based on vocal quality and skill alone rather than taking physical characteristics into account. I researched the history and implementation of nontraditional casting, both in regards to race and other factors such as gender, socio-economic status, and disability. I also considered the legal and intellectual property challenges that nontraditional casting can pose. I concluded from this research that while nontraditional casting is only one solution to the problem, it still has a great deal of potential to create diversity in theater. For my own show, I held the initial auditions via audio recording, though the callback auditions were held in person so that I and my crew could appraise dance and acting ability. Though there were many challenges with our cast after this initial round of auditions, we were able to solidify our cast and continue through the rehearsal process. All things said, the show was very successful. It is my hope that those who were a part of the show, either as part of the production or the audience, are inspired to challenge the concept of typecasting in contemporary theater.

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2014-12

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A measure of goodness: art teacher identity as a measure of quality

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ABSTRACT This qualitative study examines how high school art teachers conceive of being a good art teacher. Motivated by my own experiences as an art teacher, I designed this study to add teachers' voices to the conversation surrounding quality in

ABSTRACT This qualitative study examines how high school art teachers conceive of being a good art teacher. Motivated by my own experiences as an art teacher, I designed this study to add teachers' voices to the conversation surrounding quality in education. My research design included a narrative strand and an arts-based strand. In the narrative strand, I interviewed and observed 12 high school art educators from a major city in the southwest. I conducted an autoethnographic reflection exploring my connection to the research topic and research process. In the arts-based strand I used fiber-arts to further understand my topic. I wrote this dissertation using a narrative approach, blending the traditional research format, voices of participants, and my autoethnographic reflection. I included the results of my arts-based approach in the final chapter. Findings suggest that the teachers in this study conceptualize being a good art teacher as a process of identity construction. Each of the teachers understood what it meant to be a good art teacher in unique ways, connected to their personal experiences and backgrounds. As the teachers engaged in identity work to become the kind of art teacher they wanted to be, they engaged in a process of identity construction that consisted of four steps. I propose a model of identity construction in which the teachers chose teaching practices, evaluated those practices, identified challenges to their identities, and selected strategies to confirm, assert, or defend their desired identities. The findings have implications for teachers to become reflective practitioners; for teacher educators to prepare teachers to engage in reflective practices; and for administrators and policy makers to take into account the cyclical and personal nature of identity construction. This study also has implications for further research including the need to examine the dispositions of art teachers, teachers' evolving conceptions of what it means to be a good art teacher, and the effect labeling teachers' quality has on their identity construction.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Confronting convention: discourse and innovation in contemporary native American women's theatre

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In this dissertation, I focus on a subset of Native American theatre, one that concentrates on peoples of mixed heritages and the place(s) between worlds that they inhabit. As it is an emergent field of research, one goal of this

In this dissertation, I focus on a subset of Native American theatre, one that concentrates on peoples of mixed heritages and the place(s) between worlds that they inhabit. As it is an emergent field of research, one goal of this project is to illuminate its range and depth through an examination of three specific points of focus - plays by Elvira and Hortencia Colorado (Chichimec Otomí/México/US), who create theatre together; Diane Glancy (Cherokee/US); and Marie Clements (Métis/Canada). These plays explore some of the possibilities of (hi)story, culture, and language within the theatrical realm across Turtle Island (North America). I believe the playwrights' positionalities in the liminal space between Native and non-Native realms afford these playwrights a unique ability to facilitate cross-cultural dialogues through recentering Native stories and methodologies. I examine the theatrical works of this select group of mixed heritage playwrights, while focusing on how they open up dialogue(s) between cultures, the larger cultural discourses with which they engage, and their innovations in creating these dialogues. While each playwright features specific mixed heritage characters in certain plays, the focus is generally on the subject matter - themes central to current Native and mixed heritage daily realities. I concentrate on where they engage in cross-cultural discourses and innovations; while there are some common themes across the dissertation, the specific points of analysis are exclusive to each chapter. I employ an interdisciplinary approach, which includes theories from theatre and performance studies, indigenous knowledge systems, comparative literary studies, rhetoric, and cultural studies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Girl-becomings: girls theorizing girlhood through visual art, theatre, and digital communications

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Using arts-informed ethnographic approaches, theatrical techniques and a feminist/performance studies lens, this study analyzes the construction of US girlhood from the perspective of girls ranging in age from fourteen to seventeen by examining their original artistic creations and performances. Placing

Using arts-informed ethnographic approaches, theatrical techniques and a feminist/performance studies lens, this study analyzes the construction of US girlhood from the perspective of girls ranging in age from fourteen to seventeen by examining their original artistic creations and performances. Placing the artifacts of girl-created culture and the girls' representations, which I view as a performative practice, at the heart of my study, I connect girlhood studies to Butler's gender performance theories and to the larger field of performance studies. Rather than strictly analyzing these original works myself, I involve the girl participants as co-theorists in the analysis of the resulting artistic creations as a performance of girlhood. Through our theory building sessions, we aim to discover a nuanced understanding of girlhood and how gender identity can be performed by adolescent girls, as well as how artistic and theatrical practices can serve to assist youth in exploring complex issues. The adolescent female participants serve as active writers and performers of girlhood and through their writing and performances demonstrate their understanding of what it means to be a girl in contemporary US society. In viewing the girls as theorists, I demonstrate their capabilities while honoring their experiences and knowledge, an approach I believe should be more often employed in academia and in everyday life. Specifically, my study's central research question asks: how do US girls consume mass media representations of girlhood and reproduce or subvert these representations? In what ways do girls perform their understandings of their own identities and what it means to be a girl in contemporary US society through their creations of original art and literature, live theatrical pieces, and digital cultural practices? These works include theatrical performances, creative writing, self-portrait sculptures, and blogs/journals. Additionally, I conduct and analyze both solo and group interviews. I assert the importance of creative space and theatrical/artistic practices as tools with which girls can examine and challenge girlhood and gender discourses.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Deconstructing the ideology of nature and childhood in Korean child narratives

Description

ABSTRACT

In this study, I analyze the construction of childhood and nature in a number of Korean Theatre For Young Audience (TFY) works and family movies produced since 2000. Studying The Tale of Haruk, Gamoonjang Baby, Oseam and The Way Home,

ABSTRACT

In this study, I analyze the construction of childhood and nature in a number of Korean Theatre For Young Audience (TFY) works and family movies produced since 2000. Studying The Tale of Haruk, Gamoonjang Baby, Oseam and The Way Home, I explore the childhood memes that surface in the analysis and how they relate to dominant cultural understandings of Korean childhood. Both nature and childhood are metaphorical spaces reflecting the specificity of the cultural context in which they are situated. And in the works I explore, the two are paired in interesting and complex ways and for ideological reasons, the study of which produces a deeper understanding of the construction of Korean childhood. The “child" in Korean TFY has not been thoroughly explored in earlier scholarly work, nor do many preceding studies explore the performance texts of Korean TFY from an analytic stance. This is a serious gap in the literature, considering the significance of the discourse on childhood as a major conceptual framework bolstering TFY and the centrality of the performative aspect of the field. Thus, this study is meaningful as one of the first doctoral works to analyze the performance texts of Korean TFY and the first work to explore Korean TFY from a childhood studies framework. The findings of this interdisciplinary work will be of interest to the field of childhood studies and TFY, broadly defined. In studying the works, my main methodology has been detailed performance analysis. Through the analysis, interesting tropes of Korean childhood emerge, some of which have not been addressed explicitly before. My work reveals Korean childhood as a hybrid cultural assemblage reflecting the complexity of the Korean cultural context, where historical, current, native and foreign ideas about childhood mingle.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Intersectionality: an arts-based approach to student awareness

Description

This study was designed to introduce specific activities/lessons to students in an online university gender and communication course. It was also designed to determine how participants made meaning of and felt about learning about intersectionality of gender and cultural identities,

This study was designed to introduce specific activities/lessons to students in an online university gender and communication course. It was also designed to determine how participants made meaning of and felt about learning about intersectionality of gender and cultural identities, using arts-based data collection. Previous research on the symbolic nature of language, ground-breaking work on intersectionality, and work on arts-based research were instrumental frameworks in guiding this study. Participants were asked to create poems in response to their readings of class materials and vignettes about cultural identity issues that were provided to them. The researcher was able to determine how individuals from disparate cultural backgrounds made meaning of what they read and then how they articulated their feelings relative to learning about intersectionality, their experiences with arts-based data collection, and their perceptions of their futures application of the lessons learned. The poetic expression about those experiences provides a valuable initial base for future research with regard to more narrowly focused studies of gender intersected with identities associated with socioeconomic status, age, ableism, religious affiliation, and other cultural identities.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Creating the world we want to live in: reconnecting for a sustainable future

Description

Human connection is fundamental for a shift toward sustainable societies. Small groups of people working in response to their unique conditions and environment can find joy in the co-creation of a shared existence. A collaborative network of related efforts

Human connection is fundamental for a shift toward sustainable societies. Small groups of people working in response to their unique conditions and environment can find joy in the co-creation of a shared existence. A collaborative network of related efforts can contribute to a broader understanding of resilience and adaptation, aiming toward a regenerative relationship with the Earth and all species. Such an approach ameliorates both pervasive loneliness and extreme inequity that have grown from modern consumerist individualism, through a strong focus on trust, respect and authenticity. I have created a structure to pursue these goals as an applied Sustainability researcher and artist. First, I present a tool that measures and guides community-based work to support the values of equity, justice, transformation and connection. I follow this with an in-depth process of qualitative inquiry grounded in an applied participatory design project to gain insight on the act of building connection across perceived divides. Finally, I share “The Building Community:” the group and process I formed with formerly homeless individuals who are co-designing a tiny home ecovillage of transitional supportive housing for homeless human beings in the Skid Row neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles. The Building Community method combines Council-style talking circles with elements of Action and Design research in which equal co-learners embark on a fun and challenging journey to nurture housing security, interconnectedness, and sustainability. The results of this research indicate an opportunity for community-based researchers to further incorporate support for the rights of nature, decolonization efforts and preservation of the commons into their projects. Flexible structure, consistency, balanced effort and shared decision making proved to build a strong foundation for group processes centered on trust. Finally, The Building Community showed that intimate local groups can produce abundant and creative sustainability solutions when partnered with academic guidance and resources. Sustainability scholars have the chance to balance power, amplify voices and make collective visions manifest if they immerse themselves in efforts on the ground.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019

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Identity spectrums, analytic adolescents, and gays in "space!: a qualitative investigation of youth queer narrative reception

Description

This research study examines the interaction between youth queer narratives and young people through examining my core research question, How do young people engage, interpret, and respond to queer narratives? Applying a feminist narrative analysis to examine the qualitative

This research study examines the interaction between youth queer narratives and young people through examining my core research question, How do young people engage, interpret, and respond to queer narratives? Applying a feminist narrative analysis to examine the qualitative data, I propose a methodological research shift where the voices of youth are valued as content experts; an artistic shift that moves content-creation away from a top down traditional media model and towards a youth-centered new media approach for art making; an aesthetic shift away from over-used stereotypes, tropes, and stale representations and instead innovate to represent intersectional, spectrum-based diversity of the LGBTQ+ experience.

This qualitative research study utilizes questionnaires, focus groups, and case study interviews, to engage adolescent perceptions of queer narratives. The youth, ranging in ages from 15 to 18 years old and living in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area, explore and examine LGBTQ+ themes, characters, plots in traditional and new media.

My dissertation examines youth interactions with queer narratives through three chapters. These address themes of: character, identity, and representation; plot and the search for accuracy; and the symbiotic exchange between narrative and community. Throughout the dissertation, young people analyze narratives, reflect on their own lives, and envision the future of youth queer narrative. The youth describe a move away from traditional media and towards new media platforms with user-created content, social network interaction, and the sharing of common experiences with peers. Finally, I examine the implications of both the research findings and the methodology on the future of youth-engaged qualitative research, as well as the performing arts.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018

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Translanguaging in the borderlands: language function in theatre for young audiences written in Spanish and English in the United States

Description

In the United States, we tend to understand linguistic systems as separate and autonomous, and by this understanding, bilinguals are people who speak two different languages and switch between them.  This understanding of bilingualism, however, does not reflect the reality

In the United States, we tend to understand linguistic systems as separate and autonomous, and by this understanding, bilinguals are people who speak two different languages and switch between them.  This understanding of bilingualism, however, does not reflect the reality of the way many bilinguals use language.  Rather than “code-switch” between two languages, sociolinguists posit that many bilinguals understand their language as a single linguistic system, and choose different elements of that system in different situations, a process termed, “translanguaging.” Translanguaging provides an alternative framework for examining bilingual language as an ideological system in plays, particularly plays which use translanguaged dialogue to describe the experiences of young people who dwell on and cross borders, a category of plays I term, “Border Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA).” This descriptive study utilizes grounded theory and close reading theoretically grounded in border studies and sociolinguistic theory to determine what roles Spanish and English play in Border TYA as autonomous systems, and as pieces of a new, translanguaged system.   Playwrights of Border TYA u translanguaging as a structural metaphor for cultural negotiation to examine identity, belonging, and borders.  Translanguaging provides subaltern characters a process for communicating their experiences, examining their identities, and describing encounters with borders in their own unique linguistic system. Border TYA, however, does not exclusively translanguage.  Border TYA also incorporates monolingual dialogue and translation, and in these instances the languages, Spanish and English, function autonomously as tools for teaching audience members to recognize vocabulary and cultural experience.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Meeting trees halfway: environmental encounters in theatre and performance

Description

How do trees (live and representational) participate in our theatrical and performed encounters with them? If trees are not inherently scenic, as their treatment in language and on stage might reinforce, how can they be retheorized as agents and participants

How do trees (live and representational) participate in our theatrical and performed encounters with them? If trees are not inherently scenic, as their treatment in language and on stage might reinforce, how can they be retheorized as agents and participants in dramatic encounters? Using Diana Taylor’s theory of scenario to understand embodied encounters, I propose an alternative approach to understanding environmental beings (like trees) called “synercentrism,” which takes as its central tenet the active, if not 100 percent “willed,” participation of both human and non-human beings. I begin by mapping a continuum from objecthood to agenthood to trace the different ways that plants and trees are used, represented, and included in our encounters. The continuum provides a framework that more comprehensively unpacks human-plant relationships.

My dissertation addresses the rich variety of representations and embodiments by focusing on three central chapter topics: the history of tree representation and inclusion in dramatic literature and performance; interactions with living trees in gardens, parks, and other dramatic arenas; and individual plays and plants that have a particularly strong grasp on cultural imaginaries. Each chapter is followed by one or more corresponding case studies (the first chapter is followed by case studies on plants in musical theatre; the second on performing plants and collaborative performance events; and the last on the dance drama Memory Rings and the Methuselah tree). I conclude with a discussion of how the framework of synercentrism can aid in the disruption of terministic screens and facilitate reciprocal relationships with trees and other environmental agents.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018