ArtsPraxis, Volume 5 Issue 2

The cover image for Arts Praxis Volume 5 Issue 2, 2019, is from a keynote presentation in which the words "all theatre is political" were crossed out - in an attempt to provoke conversation, which is the shared aim of this issue.

ArtsPraxis Volume 5 Issue 2 has been published.

Last April, at the 15th annual Forum: Performance as Activism, I was heartened to meet practitioners, artists, educators and scholars from around the globe who were enthusiastically engaged in using the art form of theatre to address pressing social and cultural issues. This edition of ArtsPraxis includes fourteen inspiring and pertinent articles that report on activist theories and practices that have been initiated, explored and successfully implemented in communities and classrooms.

At the Forum, we asked, “How is activism defined or redefined in 2018?” Through panel discussions, workshops, performances and paper presentations we explored how activism can disrupt, subvert and transform dominant social and political narratives. More than sixty presenters from twelve different countries relayed inspirational and revelatory methods towards the goal of promoting enduring social change through aesthetic expression. In this global space of open dialogue and exchange, we, as activists learned about organizational methods, pedagogical tools, aesthetic devices that, in responding to the complexities of our time, push past boundaries and binaries to redefine cultural innovation.

I hope that you will be inspired by the following theories and practices offered in this volume, ranging from the metamodern to dialogical activism to personal resilience, and surrounded by artistic innovation.

This issue of ArtsPraxis is available for download.

Contents

Volume 5 Issue 2  March 2019

Editorial by Nancy Smithner

FORUM HIGHLIGHTS

NYU Keynote, 2018 by Ping Chong

Deaf Talent: Richness within Our Stories by James W. Guido

Ximonïk: The Unbound Performances of Maya Women’s Group Ajchowen by Chelsea Hackett

IDENTITY

Hope with Dirty Hands: Community Theatre Participation as Activism in Everything is Possible by Bridget Foreman

Energize, Resist, Re-Purpose: An American Theatre Responds by Penelope Cole

From the School to the Educating Community: Practices of Social Theatre in Italy as a New Form of Activism by Giulia Innocenti Malini

YOUTH

Leaping into the Disassociated Space: Unknowing Activism, Agency and Youth Identity in “Notes From Nowhere” by Gustave Weltsek and Clare Hammoor; Illustrator: Kylie Walls

Students as Arts Activists: Insights and Analysis from a Politically Engaged Assessment by Matthew Reason

Inciting Solidarity through Plural Performativity and Pedagogical Aesthetics in Ethnodrama with Marginalized Youth in Toronto by Rachel Rhoades

PROTEST

Beyond the Wall: Borderland Identity through Puppets by Ana Diaz Barriga

The Aesthetics of Activism in Korea: The Utopian Performative and Communitas by Jisun Kim

A Silent Shout: Metamodern Forms of Activism in Contemporary Performance by Tom Drayton

RESILIENCE

“It Did Get Rid of the ‘These People Are Old People’ Thing in My Brain”: Challenging the Otherness of Old Age through One-to-One Performance by Bridie Moore

Inday Dolls: Body Monologues and Lullabies for Freedom in Prison: Scripting Possible Futures in Justice Art in Iloilo’s Correctional System by Ma Rosalie Abeto Zerrudo and Dennis D. Gupa

Media Practice and Theatre in Conversation: Co-Creating Narratives for Positive Social Change by Jackie Kauli and Verena Thomas

Announcing ArtsPraxis Volume 4 Issue 1

Logo for Arts Praxis, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2017

ArtsPraxis Volume 4 Issue  1 has been published.

In the Applied Theatre section, Kay Hepplewhite investigates the applied theatre artist’s praxis, attending closely to their responsivity to participants. John Somers identifies the unique features of community theatre in the UK and the role it plays in fostering community cohesion. Linden Wilkinson documents her experience developing an ethnodrama about efforts to create a memorial for the Australian Aboriginal massacre at Myall Creek focusing on trauma and reconciliation. Finally, Kaitlin O. K. Jaskolski chronicles her experience utilizing applied theatre practices to teach life skills to adolescents and young adults in Lagos, Nigeria.

In the Drama in Education section, Scott Welsh reflects on his experiences teaching monologue workshops and interrogates the relationship between education and theatre.

In the Theatre for Young Audiences section, Jessica M. Kaufman unpacks dramaturgy-as-research, specifically looking at her work in devised theatre for young audiences. Dennis Eluyefa provides a brief overview of children’s theatre in the UK, navigating both the educative and entertainment values of the work.

In the final section on Youth Theatre, Clare Hammoor employs auto-ethnography to investigate what he calls, “the production of meaning and the possibilities of children’s theatre.” Pamela Baer illuminates a myriad of ways in which youth can engage in a participatory aesthetic. And finally, Sean Mays looks at the many challenges of adapting Broadway musicals for young performers.

LOOKING AHEAD

During the next few months, we will invite Joe Salvatore, Chair of the 2017 NYU Forum on Ethnodrama, to serve as guest editor, looking to identify highlights of the diverse offerings at the Forum for inclusion in a special edition of ArtsPraxis (Volume 5 Number 1). Following that issue, we will again engage members of the Educational Theatre field who may or may not have been present at the Forum yet want to contribute to the ongoing dialogue around our three areas of specialization: applied theatre, drama in education, and theatre for young audiences. The call for papers will be released concurrently with the next issue (November 2017) and the submission deadline is February 1, 2018.

ArtsPraxis Volume 4, Issue 1

ISSN: 1552-5236

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Dr. Jonathan P. Jones, New York University
Editor, ArtsPraxis

Editorial Board:

Amy Cordileone, New York University, USA
Norifumi Hida, Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music, Japan
Byoung-joo Kim, Seoul National University of Education, South Korea
Ross Prior, University of Wolverhampton, UK
Nisha Sajnani, New York University, USA
Daphnie Sicre, Borough of Manhattan Community College, USA
Prudence Wales, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong
James Webb, Bronx Community College, USA

Regina Ress Honored for Outstanding Contributions by The National Storytelling Network

Regina Ress

JONESBOROUGH, TN July 23, 2015 – The National Storytelling Network (NSN) awarded Regina Ress the NSN ORACLE Mid-Atlantic Regional Excellence Award. This award recognizes the creativity, professional integrity, and artistic contributions of tellers who have greatly enriched the storytelling culture of their region.

Regina Ress, storyteller, actor, author, and educator, has told stories across the US and abroad in English and Spanish, in schools and international festivals, in prisons and parks, homeless shelters and the White House. One of her many programs, Compassion, Generosity, and Grace, was created after she witnessed the 9/11 attack in NYC and participated in the response that day and thereafter.

She teaches storytelling for NYU’s Program in Educational Theatre as well as the Multilingual/Multicultural Studies Program and she produces a long-running storytelling series for NYU at the historic Provincetown Playhouse.

Her CD “New York and Me” won a 2014 Storytelling World Honor. She previously received the NSN ORACLE for Service and Leadership – Mid Atlantic Region in 2003.

Ress received her Oracle award at the National Storytelling Awards Ceremony on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at the National Storytelling Conference in Kansas City.  For more information, visit Regina Ress’ website.

Honorary Professorship for Dr. Taylor

Certificate coverPhilip Taylor, director of doctoral studies in the Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions was recently made an honorary professor at Nanjing Normal University. Dr Taylor’s award was made after his keynote and masterclass presentations at the “Drama, Dream and Children” conference at NNU. This impressive honor builds on the program’s numerous other global links. “Take advantage of Ed Theatre’s international outreach and consider study abroad,” said Taylor, “it is life changing and career building.”

Certificate

 

Towards the Fear: The Creation of an Interview Theatre Piece

By Arielle Sosland

Towards the Fear, directed and created by Professor Joe Salvatore is an interview theatre piece that focuses on topics of bullying, social combat and aggression.

The company consists of eight actors/researchers, four Drama Therapy students and four Educational Theatre students.

The Cast in Rehearsal

The Cast in Rehearsal

As a student studying Educational Theatre, working with the Drama Therapy students has allowed me to consider theatre through a therapeutic lens. Although not trained in Drama Therapy practices, through working with these four actors/researchers, I am engaging in discussions on how this work may emotionally affect our audiences.

Before rehearsals began, we were required to complete the UCAIHS (University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects) Certification Exam that allows us to conduct research involving human subjects.  In our initial rehearsals, Joe trained us in the proper interview protocol and informed us of the six open-ended prompts and questions that we used with each of our interview participants.

As the interviews were happening outside of rehearsal, in rehearsal we were devising movement pieces based off of source material and conversations surrounding the topics of bullying, social combat, and aggression. We worked to create three movement pieces to be showcased at the beginning, middle and end of the performance and essentially break up the interviews. Our initial movement piece was created based on the research of Robert Faris and Diane Felmlee on Social Networks and Aggression at the Wheatley School.  Both of these sociologists make appearances in the interview sections as well.

Once we finished the interviews, each actor/researcher transcribed up to three of the most compelling 2-3 minute sections of each interview. We then took three or four rehearsals to assemble the script.  First, we narrowed our participants down to twenty “characters” for the performance, and then a second pass reduced that number to sixteen.  Then we grouped the interview sections into categories to determine which sections worked nicely with others.

Eventually, we had about 70 pages laid out on the floor of the Drama Therapy Room in the Pless Annex and with great excitement we were able to say, “we have our script!”

To be part of physically fitting the pieces of the script together allowed all the actors to feel a great sense of accomplishment when we were able to step back and look at the transcriptions laid out in order on the ground.

Through this project we hope to motivate audience members to reflect on their own experiences of bullying, social combat, and aggression, and act on ways to change these environments. Towards the Fear, the title of our production reminds audience members the challenge of changing aggressive environments and yet the adults we interviewed all stand as examples that we are able to persevere and to empower others. I look forward to seeing and hearing audience reactions about the piece and stirring up critical conversations about this important topic.

For the full research article by Faris and Felmlee is available at turner.com.

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Towards the Fear: An exploration of bullying, social combat, and aggression
Created and Directed by Joe Salvatore and members of the company
Program in Drama Therapy

LOCATION: Provincetown Playhouse
ADMISSION: $15 General, $5 Students & Seniors
For tickets, contact NYU Ticket Central
ONLINE: NYU Ticket Central
BY PHONE: 212 352 3101
IN PERSON: 566 LaGuardia Place
(at Washington Square South)

Thursday, April 10 at 8pm
Friday, April 11 at 8pm
Saturday, April 12 at 8pm
Sunday, April 13 at 3pm

Towards the Fear postcard

Tongues by Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin, to be performed Fall 2013

The Program in Educational Theatre has been taking part in a unique collaboration with the Department of Music and Performing Arts’ Program in Percussion Studies, on a new production of Sam Shepard’s play, Tongues. Written in 1978 by Shepard and Joseph Chaikin, Tongues is a series of monologues set to percussion, and was first performed at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Chaikin and Shepard explored a dramatic form stripped of plot elements and reduced to essentials of sound and utterance. Shepard writes: “Tongues is a play about voices. Voices traveling. Voices becoming other voices. Voices from the dead and living. Hypnotized voices. Sober voices. Working voices. Voices in anguish.” In this lyrical and poignant theatre piece, the inherent philosophical themes are hunger, work, family, death, and the poetic sense of human possibility.

Dr. Nan Smithner is directing the piece, in collaboration with Jonathan Haas, Director of Percussion Studies, who oversees the percussion ensemble.  The actors from our program are Andrew Anzel, Heleya de Barros, Ashley Hamilton, and Clare Hamoor. They have contributed greatly to the realization of the piece with inventive aesthetic suggestions. The percussionists, Abigail Fisher, Robert Guilford, Brandon Nestor and Sean Perham, have worked creatively with the actors to bring the text to life using a variety of unusual and inspired percussive instruments. Through movement, words and sound, the percussionists interact spatially, musically and emotionally with the actors, creating a dynamic and visual soundscape.

This NYU collaborative production is going to culminate in a presentation at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, on November 13, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The piece will also be performed at NYU on Monday, November 25th at 7:30pm in the Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th St.