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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Therapeutic theatre : the weaving of self and theatre : a performative inquiry of the collaborative play-creating process and optimal adolscent development Beare, David Merrit

Abstract

Based on the overlapping principles of social constructivism, performance psychology, drama therapy, and therapeutic theatre, I explore the weaving of self and theatre. The main purpose for this performative inquiry study is to reach the most well-informed and sophisticated interpretation of how the collaborative play-creating process fosters optimal adolescent development. For the past three and a half years, I have facilitated hundreds of high school students through five separate collaborative play-creating processes. I position myself in this research with the belief that development is relational and that the teaching of theatre arts would be better served with the shift from the development of theatre to the development of people. The central interpretative site from which I will construct all my interpretations for this study are based on the transcription of five interviews (four youth and one facilitator) and all my field notes (as facilitator and researcher). From the transcribed interviews and field notes, I have conceptualized a theoretical framework, which involves nine themes, divided into two sections: theatre and self. The theatre section involves four collaborative play-creating process steps: script-writing, rehearsing, performing, and ongoing reflecting. The self section involves five developmental stages: inclusion, control, intimacy, empowerment and vision. In addition, selected sections of the transcribed text were used to create a script depicting eight characters operating at different developmental stages. Overall, I share with the readers my interpretations and analysis of the construction of the nine themes and the script. Conclusions of my study are made based on various stakeholders' evaluations of my interpretations.

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