Drama Research Methods: Provocations of Practice


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At a time when universities demand immediate and quantifiable impacts of scholarship, the voices of research participants become secondary to impact factors and the volume of research produced. Moreover, what counts as research within the academy constrains practices and methods that may more authentically articulate the phenomena being studied. When external forces limit methodological practices, research innovation slows and homogenizes.

This book aims to address the methodological, interpretive, ethical/procedural challenges and tensions within theatre-based research with a goal of elevating our field’s research practice and inquiry. Each chapter embraces various methodologies, positionalities and examples of mediation by inviting two or more leading researchers to interrogated each other’s work and, in so doing, highlighted current debates and practices in theatre-based research. Topics include: ethics, method, audience, purpose, mediation, form, aesthetics, voice, data generation, and research participants. Each chapter frames a critical dialogue between researchers that take multiple forms (dialogic interlude, research conversation, dramatic narrative, duologue, poetic exchange, etc.).

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Peter Duffy, Ed.D. (2014), University of South Carolina, is an award winning associate professor and heads the Master of Arts in Teaching program in theatre education. His research includes cognition and the arts, culturally responsive pedagogies and performed research.
Christine Hatton, Ph.D. (2005), University of Sydney, is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle. Her scholarly interests include drama, arts education and gender in education.She was awarded the 2014 Faculty of Education and Arts Early Career Research Fellowship.
Richard Sallis, Ph.D., University of Melbourne, is a senior lecturer in arts education at the that university's Graduate School of Education. His research includes arts education, gender and identity, and professional theatre for/with youth. He was the 2012 AATE Distinguished Dissertation Award recipient.
"Drama Research Methods: Provocations of Practice is an outstanding and important book. This engaging, well-crafted, and highly original collection makes significant contributions to performance studies and arts-based research. It is a must-read for anyone interested in how theatre arts can merge with teaching and research practices. I applaud the editors and contributors. Bravo!" - Patricia Leavy, PhD, author of Method Meets Art (Guilford Publications, 2009) and Low-Fat Love (Sense, 2015)

"What the reader comes away with [after reading this book] is an unusual peek behind the curtain of arts-based educational research (…) In Drama Research Methods, the editors crafted a text that had a clear intention – there would be no more hero narratives or success stories, which so frequently pervade educational drama research publications (202). (…) Duffy, Hatton, and Sallis have effectively closed the circle, marrying methods and practice in a way that more accurately reflects the field." - Jonathan P. Jones in Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance (2021).
Foreword: The Both/and of Performance Research
Anne M. Harris

Part 1: Provocations of Design

1. Touchstones of Practice: Consideration from the Theatre Workshop Floor
George Belliveau and Christine Sinclair
2. Act-ive P-art-icipation: Social Inclusion and Drama Research
Jo Raphael and Kelly Freebody
3. Learning on the Ground: How Our Research Stories Teach Us about Ethics
Kathleen Gallagher and Richard Sallis

Part 2: Provocations of Method

4. A Research Tango in Three Moves: Gendering the Drama Research Space
Christine Hatton and Richard Sallis
5. Three Arts Based Researchers Walk into a Forum: A Conversation on the Opportunities and Challenges in Embodied and Performed Research
Nisha Sajnani, Richard Sallis and Joe Salvatore
6. Surrender, Pedagogy Ambiguity, Research and Impossibility: Cats @ Play
Joe Norris, Lynn Fels and Yasmine Kandil
7. Participation in Participatory Drama-Based Research
Diane Conrad and Janinka Greenwood

Part 3: Provocations of representation

8. How Do Culture and Power Work in and through Drama Research?: An e-Conversation Between
Selina Busby and Brian S. Heap
9. Representation, Authenticity and the Graphic Novel in Arts Education Inquiry: Transubstantiating Research
Robin Pascoe and Peter R. Wright
10. Defiant Bodies: A Punk Rock Crip Queer Cabaret: Cripping and Queering Emancipatory Disability Research
Emma Selwyn and Liselle Terret

Part 4: Provocations of practice

11. We Need to Talk about Theory: Rethinking the Theory/Practice Dichotomy in Pursuit of Rigour in Drama Research
Helen Cahill, Viv Aitken and Christine Hatton
12. The Stories That Made Us: A Duoethnography on Becoming Reflective Drama Researchers
Christine Hatton and Peter Duffy
13. Research and Its Impact: A Dramatic Cyber-Dialogue in Three Scenes
John O’Toole and Peter Duffy
14. Lessons Learned: Provocations of Practice
Allison Anders, Peter Duffy, Christine Hatton and Richard Sallis
15. Afterword: Well Begun Is Half Done
Brad Haseman
Practitioners interested in performed research and arts-based research as well as those within the diverse realm of drama and theatre education and qualitative research will find this book most useful.
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