Using Theatre in Qualitative Research
A Postgraduate Workshop
Aims of the workshop
Encourage creativity in the research process
This workshop will provide different ways of analysing and relating to qualitative research data that goes beyond merely reading the textual form. The theatre games and activities will enable participants to develop an embodied engagement with research data coupled with critical reflection. These activities will encourage participants to explore the sensory aspects of social life through feeling, hearing, touching and enacting the lived experiences of the people represented in the data.
Make research findings accessible to a wider audience
Have you ever thought that academic research is often inaccessible, overly theoretical and too jargon laden for non-academic audiences? Theatre activities and techniques offer ways to overcome these problems and help communicate with audiences who might otherwise be inhibited from accessing or interpreting traditional written academic texts. Specifically, in this workshop theatrical methods will encourage participants to perform research findings in clear and accessible ways using the distinctive language, styles and movements of the people whose lives are portrayed in the data.
Help develop a participatory and collaborative approach to analysing and representing data
In academic research the reader or the audience typically play a passive role as the recipient of academic knowledge. This workshop will offer an alternative approach by showing how theatre activities can be used to actively encourage audience participation. This approach can be used with lay audiences, research participants, students in lectures and seminars or audiences at conference presentations. The underlying aim is to get the audience to experience the same feelings and events as the people represented in the data. In this way, theatre activities allow researchers to not only show audiences the data but also involve them in the interpretation and enactment of the data.
Develop participants’ presentation and performance skills
This workshop will highlight the aesthetic and artful qualities inherent in academic presentations. The activities will encourage participants to reflect on how dramatic techniques aid communication through attention to movement, posture, gesture, the use of physical space, pauses, silences and repetitions. Ultimately, this workshop will give participants the opportunity to develop these performance skills and gain hands on experience on how to entertain, surprise and engage audiences through dramatic means.
© 2010 - University of Bath - Last updated: 09-Feb-2012