UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Voices up! : experiences of collective playmaking Cook, Christopher


In January 2016, a group of community members, students, and staff began creating a play together at the UBC Learning Exchange, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. For the next twenty-two months, the group wrote, rehearsed, and performed a collectively created theatre piece, entitled Voices UP! This thesis project casts four of the community members who took part in the collective creation process as co-inquirers, exploring their experiences of collaborative playmaking. Considering art’s potential to contribute to mental health, the author combines two complementary qualitative methods – research-based theatre and narrative analysis – to investigate the co-inquirers’ experiences of playmaking in terms of relevance to wellbeing. The study results, drawing from interview transcripts, drawings, and objects from the collective creation process, are presented as both a thematic analysis, and a short play script, entitled Give Me Your Hands. Reflecting the process used to create Voices UP!, the short script was collectively written by the author and four co-inquirers. Give Me Your Hands is a play about making a play, and illustrates the shared and individual experiences of those who took part in a community-based collective creation process.

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