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ERIC Number: EJ1106423
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1356-9783
Seeing the Word, Hearing the Image: The Artistic Possibilities of Audio Description in Theatrical Performance
Cavalloa, Amelia
Research in Drama Education, v20 n1 p125-134 2015
This paper will explore the effect that creative, non-traditional uses of audio description (AD) have on the audience during a performance, and how they trouble normative understandings of aesthetics and representation. This will be done by analysing two pieces created by Extant Theatre, the UK's only professional theatre company of visually impaired people. Both pieces use highly visual forms of performance in order to highlight the necessity of descriptive access for both practitioners and spectators experiencing these pieces, as well as the effect that description can have on the comprehension of an image. I will dissect these performances by juxtaposing my experience as a practitioner in these pieces with some of the methodological structures inherent within disability studies and identity politics, such as Rosemary Garland-Thomson's research on staring. AD, in its standard form, is an access tool for blind and visually impaired spectators that is almost always placed on top of an already completed performance, and hidden from the view of those not using the service. When that dynamic is shifted to allow for everyone, performer and audience alike, to experience and potentially contribute to the descriptions being given, regardless of visual status, the perceptions around the performance can change. This paper argues that the creative input of AD into a theatrical piece can open up wider questions around how aesthetics are viewed by performer and audience alike. Also, by making an access tool into a collaboration between audience and performer, the story that is communicated and the way the characters within that story are represented can break away from normative methods of performance. This then opens up possibilities for new ways of thinking about and perceiving how performance is made, why it is done and what it might become.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A