Playwriting methodologies in community-engaged theatre practice in regional Australia

Doctorate other than PhD


Burton, David. 2021. Playwriting methodologies in community-engaged theatre practice in regional Australia. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Creative Industries. Queensland University of Technology.
Title

Playwriting methodologies in community-engaged theatre practice in regional Australia

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
Authors
AuthorBurton, David
SupervisorKelly, Kathryn
Megarritty, David
Institution of OriginQueensland University of Technology
Qualification NameDoctor of Creative Industries
Number of Pages217
Year2021
Abstract

This thesis examines playwriting methodologies commonly used in community-engaged theatre practice in regional Australia. Since 2003, the Queensland Music Festival has committed to commissioning original community-engaged works in regional Queensland communities. These works, typically featuring a cast of many hundreds and audiences of many thousands, are unique examples of community-engaged theatre work. Since 2013, I have served as playwright on these works and have undertaken practice-based and practice-led research across four case studies, along with complementary interviews. The research positioned the playwright in a dense and complex network of stakeholders in community-engaged practice. Whereas much community-engaged research focuses on the critical relationship between artist and community participant, the artist is also in relationship with their employer and their fellow artistic peers. In framing the playwright at the centre of this triangle, three key findings emerge. Firstly, a shared intentionality between all stakeholders is essential for community-engaged work. Further, using Bourdieu’s understandings of habitus and Wenger’s definitions of ‘communities of practice’ and social artistry (2009), the value of conflict or disjuncture is given importance for the playwright. Finally, the value of verbatim theatre methodologies is given new understanding in the creation of contemporary community-engaged work.

Keywordsapplied theatre, community-engaged theatre, Gladstone, Isaac Shire Council, Logan, Moranbah, Mount Isa, participatory arts, playwriting, practice-led research, Queensland Music Festival, regional Australia, regional Queensland, verbatim theatre, verbatim theatre methodologies.
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360401. Applied theatre
360201. Creative writing (incl. scriptwriting)
Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q6530/playwriting-methodologies-in-community-engaged-theatre-practice-in-regional-australia

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