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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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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-12

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Deconstructing the ideology of nature and childhood in Korean child narratives

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

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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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018