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ERIC Number: EJ799167
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1356-9783
Taking Liberties: A Theatre Class of Foolish Witnesses
Salverson, Julie
Research in Drama Education, v13 n2 p245-255 Jun 2008
Theatre is a dangerous witness, challenged with multiple responsibilities of integrity, imagination, inspiration and craft. I explore the relationship between failure, witnessing, and displacement in a class grappling with their own backgrounds, migrations and interrogations of the idea of place and home. We approach performing testimony as an ethical practice in the context of foolish witness, an approach based in neither tragedy nor paralysis, but the impossible bravery and willingness of the clown. The strategy is to unearth the potential in the hysterical, the possibility in the foolish. I describe an exercise in translating and performing testimony and explore how the students navigate the terrain of bearing witness-- engaging with class visitors, class readings, creating their own performances, encountering the differences amongst themselves and their own histories--in the context of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas's concern that the problem with tragedy is that it is never tragic enough. Clown and foolishness as an approach provide the opportunity for a performance form where the relationship between suffering and survival might be negotiated. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A