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ERIC Number: EJ1106425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1356-9783
Withholding the Personal Story: Using Theory to Orient Practice in Applied Theatre about HIV and Human Rights
Cahill, Helen
Research in Drama Education, v19 n1 p23-38 2014
When applied theatre is used in service of a health promotion or rights agenda, particular responsibilities come into play. The artist must be able to articulate their theory of change and translate it into action. In this article, I trouble the borderline between an ethical and an exploitative use of story when working to provide opportunities for "youth voice". I use a reflective practitioner method, working between theoretical argument and case story involving a project conducted in Thailand with a group of young drug users who were commissioned to make the "youth voice" plenary presentation at "Response Beyond Borders: The Second Asian Consultation on the Prevention of HIV-related to Drug Use" (Bangkok, January 2010). I discuss some of the key decisions I made as the arts-based practitioner leading a group of young people who identified neither as actors nor as advocates. I discuss the challenges I encountered in working between the ethics and the aesthetics of the "performance of the self". I draw upon poststructuralist theory to highlight the way in which the positioning of the participants influences the types of knowledge that we can create through our stories. I discuss the way in which the re-telling of victim-deviant stories can work to perpetuate limiting storylines and work against the possibility of social change. I challenge the epistemological assumption that rehearsal for change is of itself sufficient as a liberation strategy and draw attention to the need to position both players and audiences inside a sense of the possibility and desirability of change. I propose key principles to orient my use of "enquiry theatre" for social change.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Thailand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A