Young People and Performance: the Impact of Deterritorialisation on Contemporary Theatre for Young People

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1 Young People and Performance: the Impact of Deterritorialisation on Contemporary Theatre for Young People Sandra Jane Gattenhof Diploma of Teaching (Primary) Bachelor of Arts Master of Arts (Research) Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries Faculty Performance Studies February 2004 Submitted in full requirement for the award of IF49 Doctor of Philosophy

2 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The last three years has seen me immerse myself back in my heartland of youth performance. I can say it has been a pure pleasure and utmost joy to engage with the practitioners and young artists both here in Australia and abroad. But a journey like this is not undertaken without a detailed road map and capable navigator. My heartfelt thanks go to my supervisor and mentor Associate Professor Brad Haseman. Brad, you have been my beacon. I have enjoyed your wisdom, humour and truthfulness along the way. It will not be easily forgotten. To my associate supervisor Dr Paul Makeham, thank you for your clarity, grammar and spelling checks and friendly encouragement. I wish to also express my gratitude to the following wonderful women who have put up with an almost never-ending discussion of the thesis in cars, cafes, on the phone and at dinner; Christine Comans, Sharon Hogan, Madonna Stinson, Debbie Wall, Shay Ryan and Ellen Appleby. The strength and tenacity of these women have been inspirational and they are inexhaustible vessels of wisdom and love. Finally to the staff in Performance Studies at QUT, the young performing artists, the Theatre for Young People companies and company artistic directors I thank you for your generosity and support in making this study happen. 2

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Keywords 7 Abstract 8 List of Abbreviations 10 Statement of Original Authorship Introduction Methodology Introduction Qualitative Research Defining Performance Studies The Interpretive Paradigm of the Study - Constructivism The Methodological Approach to Qualitative Research Case Study The Position of the Researcher Objectivity in the Research Process Research Question Design of the Study Investigation One Investigation Two Ethical Considerations Conclusion Frame of Reference: Defining Young People s Theatre (YPT) and 43 the Historical Narrative 3.1 Introduction The Lexicon of Young People s Theatre Young People s Theatre Youth Theatre Theatre in Education Theatre for Young People The History of Theatre for Young People (TYP) New Technologies as a Contemporary Force in TYP Conclusion 58 3

4 4. Contemporary Performance: the Poetics of Deterritorialisation Introduction Globalisation and the Impact on Cultures Defining Deterritorialisation Attributes of Deterritorialised Performance Performativity, Performance and Theatre Performance, Technologies and Convergence Intertextuality and Openness of Form Conclusion Data Analysis Form in Contemporary TYP Introduction Section One Analytical Lens 1: Performativity Data Summary of Interviews Performativity Journal Extract Discussion of On Top of the World With Gen Y.Com Performativity Journal Extract Discussion of The Gift Summary of the Animating Concept of Performativity Section Two Analytical Lens 2: Convergence Data Summary of Interviews Convergence Journal Extract Discussion of Zing Kabaret Convergence Journal Extract Discussion of Altered States Summary of the Animating Concept of Convergence (a) Art Form and Genre (b) Live and Mediated Texts Section Three Analytical Lens 3: Openness of Form Data Summary of Interviews 121 4

5 5.4.2 Openness of Form Journal Extract Discussion of Kinderspeil Out of Bounds Openness of Form Journal Extract Discussion of This Endless Shore Summary of the Animating Concept of Openness of Form (a) Intertextuality (b) Singular and Collaborative Authorship Conclusion Data Analysis Content in Contemporary TYP Introduction The Role of Ownership in Content Creation Themes Explored in TYP Manifestation of Planetist Themes in TYP Conclusion Findings and Implications Introduction Drivers of Change in the TYP Sector Re-evaluation of Text The Creation of Text and the Processes of Deterritorialisation Reinterpretation of Narrative Structure Collaborative Authorship Convergence of Art Form and Mediated Culture Shifting Notions of Performativity Implications for Reappraising Theatre for Young People Conclusion Postscript 183 References 184 Appendices 206 Appendix 1 Catalogue of Performance Works 207 Appendix 2 Performance Descriptors 212 Appendix 3 Performance Categories 229 5

6 Appendix 4 Informed Consent Package 231 Appendix 5 Interview Transcriptions Interview Transcript Chris Pye Interview Transcript Lana Gishkariany Interview Transcript Jane Jennison Interview Transcript Roger Hill Interview Transcript David Berthold Interview Transcript Brendan Ross 340 Diagrams and Tables Figure 1: List of Interviewees 38 Figure 2: Provisional Conceptual Framework 88 Figure 3: Table of Mediated Text Usage in TYP Performance 116 Figure 4: Expanded Conceptual Framework 133 Figure 5: Table of Issues Explored in TYP Performance 145 6

7 KEY WORDS The following is a list of key words that appear within the thesis or are associated with the thesis topic. These words have been listed for cataloguing purposes. Key words that apply to this study are Creative Industries, content creation, convergence, deterritorialisation, mediated culture, performativity, planetism, technology, Theatre for Young People, theatrical form, youth culture. 7

8 ABSTRACT Within contemporary performance arenas young people are fast becoming part of the vanguard of contemporary performance. Performativity, convergence and openness of form are key animating concepts in the landscape of Theatre for Young People (TYP). To ignore what is taking place in the making of performance for and by young people is to ignore the new possibilities in meaning-making and theatrical form. In this period of rapid technological change young people are embracing and manipulating technology (sound, image, music) to represent who they are and what they want to say. Positioned as cultural catalysts, the new pioneers and first navigators young people are using mediatised culture and digital technologies with ease, placing them at the forefront of a shift in cultural production. Performance commentators (Schnechner 2002; Shusterman 2000; Auslander 1999; Hill and Paris 2001; Phelan 1993 and Kershaw 1992) believe that there has been a profound shift in the nature of making theatre and performance works. The forces of globalisation, the new economy and advancements in new media technologies have affected young people s making of performance. Three key concepts animate contemporary young people s performance devising and presenting processes. These concepts can be defined as: performativity, convergence and openness of form. These three categories can be harnessed under the umbrella concept of deterritorialisation. The processes of deterritorialisation allows for the synthesis of new cultural and performance genres by fragmenting and hybridising traditional cultural categories and forms including the use of new media technologies. Almost 8

9 half of all TYP performances now incorporate the technologies of reproduction. The relationship between live and mediated forms, the visceral and the virtual is allowing young people to navigate and make meaning of cultural codes and cultural forms as well as to engage in an open dialogue with their audiences. This thesis examines the way young people are using elements of deterritorialisation to become producers of new performance genres. 9

10 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS These following abbreviations have been used throughout the main text of the thesis: AATE AD ATYP ICT QADIE QUT SME TIE TYP YAQ YPT American Alliance for Theatre and Education Artistic Director Australian Theatre for Young People Information Communication Technology Queensland Association for Drama in Education Queensland University of Technology Small to Medium Enterprise Theatre in Education Theatre for Young People Youth Arts Queensland Young People s Theatre 10

11 STATEMENT OF ORIGINAL AUTHORSHIP The work contained in this thesis has not been previously submitted for a degree or diploma at any other higher education institution. To the best of my knowledge and belief, the thesis contains no material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made. Signed: Date: 11

12 1. INTRODUCTION 12

13 1. INTRODUCTION This thesis investigates the contemporary practice within the field of Theatre for Young People. Pivotal to the study are three hallmarks of contemporary performance; shifting notions of performativity; convergence articulated in the use of technology and theatrical genres; and Umberto Eco s realisation of openness in form and authorship. The thesis draws from theatre and performance studies, globalisation theory and youth studies. Using interviews of Theatre for Young People practitioners and observation of thirtynine performances, this thesis argues that young people and Theatre for Young People companies are among the leaders of a paradigm shift in developing and delivering performance works. Advocacy within the youth arts sectors for the recognition of young people as artists and performers in their own right has occurred in the past ten years. Prior to this, young people were positioned principally in terms of their need for development through education and training. This thesis considers the contemporary situation in relation to issues of performance making and performance delivery within a global, networked and technology-driven society. The methodology chapter defines the architectural shape of the overall study. The chapter defines the interpretive paradigm of Constructivism that was used to frame the study and maps out the terrain of the two investigations that captured the data in the study. In doing so the chapter demonstrates how case study has been used as the 13

14 predominant research strategy using the data collection methods of artistic audit and interview. The second chapter provides a critical background to the main issues presented in the thesis: definitions of youth performance types which, combined, create the field known as Theatre for Young People; the historical narrative of the field; and the way in which new media technologies are leading change agents in the creation of young people s performance. This chapter demonstrates the conceptual shift in youthspecific theatre from developmentalism to Theatre for Young People as valuable and radical sites of cultural production. Chapter Three defines the conceptual framework used in the study. Whilst reading in the area of economic theory, the concept of deterritorialisation came to light. This concept is used to describe the international money market in which currency, stocks and shares are traded through permeable borders that are usually unseen due to the nature of electronic transfer. The money market is able to move effortlessly through countries and over borders for intercultural exchanges of currency. Reading further into this theory it was discovered that the notion of shifting borders is also being applied to cultures and the applications of technologies within our globalised world. The third chapter sets out to define how deterritorialisation can be applied to contemporary performance, which is not limited to the field of youth performance. It investigates the notion of convergence as it applies to performance through the use of live and mediated cultures and delineates the way in which cultural appropriation is changing the way in which performance is constructed. 14

15 Chapter Four, the largest of all the chapters in the study, contains the data analysis of the interview data collected from six Theatre for Young People practitioners and selected performances from the artistic audit. The chapter is an analysis of form in contemporary Theatre for Young People. The data is organised in three sections. Using the conceptual framework of deterritorialisation, data have been analysed according to the animating concepts of performativity, convergence and openness of form three hallmarks of deterritorialisation as it applies to contemporary Theatre for Young People practice. Chapter Five builds upon the analysis contained in Chapter Four. Using the same field of data, it is an analysis of the content used in Theatre for Young People performances. This chapter explores how issues that impact upon the contemporary lives of young people are made manifest in the productions through choice of content. It explores key issues of content ownership and authentic voice in the making of Theatre for Young People productions. The two final chapters consist of the findings, implications and conclusions of the study. To shed light onto the outcomes of the study the three sub-questions that drove the research question have been used to capture the outgrowth of the investigation. This study arose from a personal interest in contemporary performance and Theatre for Young People. The idea for the study was not contrived. It emerged from personal interactions with performance companies, live performances in both adult theatre and youth theatre and my involvement with a number of performance events involving 15

16 young people. For me, this study was intrinsically driven, derived from personal experience and allowed me to give witness to a somewhat marginalised field. My interest in the art form of theatre extends back into my childhood. I had a mother who was a voracious theatre-goer. I have many happy memories of being taken to Saturday matinees of block-buster musicals in Sydney s Haymarket, which in the mid to late 1970s, was the epicentre of Australian theatre. I saw No No Nanette starring Nancy Hayes, Pippin with John (then Johnny) Farnham and Jesus Christ Superstar with John English, Trevor White and Australia s first black Mary Magdalene Marcia Hines. My father had a friend who was a Duty Manager at the Sydney Opera House and as a family we got freebies to Roy Orbison, Shirley Bassey and Kamhal. At Christmas there was always a pantomime in the church hall next to the Sydney Town Hall and in January arts-based activities in the children s section of the Festival of Sydney (now the prestigious Sydney Festival) in Hyde Park. I got to squiggle with Mr Squiggle, dance with Humphrey B. Bear and artistically run riot. But I remember as a young child wanting to do it, not just be on the receiving end of it. Weekends were spent devising performances with the neighbourhood kids that I can now claim as being a protean form some drama, some dance, some music. And of course I inevitably joined a children s theatre group. A big turning point occurred for me in year 3 at Bronte Public School. My teacher Mr Baynham let us write adaptations of well-loved stories and put them into the end of year school concert. He also acted as the director of class productions. In that year I became Alice from Alice in Wonderland, a witch s cat called Fluffy Bum and the jabberwocky. We even made 16

17 a film using still slide images to the hit song of Billy Don t Be a Hero that had an opening night as part of the school s open day activities. As teenager-dom struck, my family moved to Brisbane and I joined the Brisbane Youth Theatre at Highgate Hill acting in four to five productions a year. By the time I was 17 I was directing the juniors, children in the theatre aged 7-12 years. My involvement in theatre continued and increased as I worked with amateur and professional theatre companies, sang light opera and continually sat in darkened performance spaces watching, always watching. In the past six years I haven t worked as a performer but have instead pursued work in allied performance areas, such as Education Liaison Officer at Queensland Arts Council where I auditioned and accredited performances for young audiences which toured Queensland primary schools. This has led me into a position where I am sought out by Queensland and interstate companies to write performance support materials or to sit on reference groups to inform company choices. I guess what I have become is a performance commentator. For the sake of clarity it should be noted that a performance commentator is not a recognised profession, unlike reviewers who commentate on performance for daily broadsheets. I use this term, performance commentator, to describe the work I do, usually free of charge, when Theatre for Young People companies and adult professional theatre companies invite my advice on a performance in regard to educational issues, suitability to target audience and in the process of the creative development of a new performance work. 17

18 Coalescing with this love of performance was an abiding interest and concern about the environment and how we as stewards of the earth act for, with and against it. What has mattered to me is becoming involved for the common good. I was lucky with my education to see something of the plight of the planet and its people, and understand the way that affluent human societies are both creating these problems and isolating themselves from the consequences. This understanding has got something to do with ethics, spirit and love not things often spoken about publicly in secular society. This belief in the common good and what Peter Ellyard (2001a), an Australian futurist, calls thrivability has been increased over the years by my work in volunteer organisations, outdoor and environmental education settings. Through all of this, I have learnt that for change to be effected it is best achieved in partnership situations in which interdependence rather than independence is made palpable. In undertaking this research I have been taken back to my heartland of youth performance, and more specifically youth performance that positions young people as the performers. The doers and not the watchers, just like a younger me. My aim was to specifically explore the contemporary narrative being written by Theatre for Young People (TYP) and to contribute to a greater understanding of how new conceptions of performativity, convergence and openness of form are key animating concepts in the landscape of Theatre for Young People. 18

19 2. METHODOLOGY 19

20 2. METHODOLOGY 2.1 Introduction The research conducted in the study fits into the arc of qualitative research. It is refracted through the interpretive paradigm of constructivism and investigates the field of performance studies as it relates to young people s performance. The study uses the methodological approach of case study, whilst positioning the researcher as a bricoleur. Data collection was undertaken using the devices of artistic audit, observation and interview. To begin this chapter a definition of qualitative research will be established to provide the overall methodological focus of the study. 2.2 Qualitative Research Qualitative research methods were developed in the social sciences to enable researchers to study social and cultural phenomena. Examples of qualitative methods are action research, case study research and ethnography. Qualitative data sources include observation and participant observation (fieldwork), interviews and questionnaires, documents and texts, and the researcher s impressions and reactions. Denzin and Lincoln define qualitative research as: A situated activity that locates the observer in the world. It consists of a set of interpretive, material practices that make the world visible. They turn the world into a series of representations, including field notes, interviews, conversations, photographs, recordings and memos to self. At this level qualitative research involves an interpretative naturalistic approach to the world. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 3). 20

21 Qualitative observational research describes and designates various cultural, racial and/or sociological groups by employing interpretive and naturalistic approaches. It is both observational and narrative in nature. This type of research attempts to identify and explain complex social structures within a study group or groups. Qualitative study lends itself to thick narrative description, and it may be intensive given the complexity of group interactions. It takes place on site, in the group s natural environment, and attempts to be non-manipulative of group behaviours. Whilst traditionally qualitative research has aimed for objectivity, a more nuanced understanding of how the field is developing is important to acknowledge. Lomax (2000) advocates that qualitative research involves both and inter and intra-subjective dialectic. In this understanding subjectivity is not only acknowledged, but actively promoted. It is therefore appropriate then, in the context of this study, that the researcher make their position transparent whilst taking into account the views of the participants. Qualitative research methods are designed to help researchers understand people and the social and cultural contexts within which they live. Kaplan and Maxwell (1994) argue that the goal of understanding a phenomenon from the point of view of the participants and its particular social and institutional context is largely lost when textual data is quantified. For this study, these qualitative data collection strategies include interview and artistic audit. The dominant methods used to collect, manage and analyse data will be interviewing, observation and descriptive analysis. The field in which data was collected can be defined Performance Studies. The choice of locating the study within this framework allows for a broader definition than the 21

22 traditional notion of theatre or drama. It is within this field that young people s performance will be positioned. 2.3 Defining Performance Studies The field of Performance Studies takes performance as an organising concept for the study of a wide range of behaviour. Performance Studies sets no limit on what can be studied in terms of medium and culture. Nor does it limit the range of approaches that can be taken. While it might be argued that as an art form, performance lacks a distinctive medium (Carroll 1986:78), embodied practice and event is a recurring point of reference within Performance Studies. Performance Studies begins from the premise that its objects of study are not to be divided up and parcelled out, medium by medium, to various other disciplines - music, dance, dramatic literature, art history. The prevailing division of the arts by medium is arbitrary, as is the creation of fields and departments devoted to each. Most of the world's artistic expression has always synthesized or otherwise integrated movement, sound, speech, narrative, and objects. Moreover, the historical avant-garde and contemporary art have long questioned these boundaries and gone about blurring them. Such confounding of categories has not only widened the range of what can count as an art-making practice, but also given rise to performance art that is expressly not theatre and art performance that dematerialises the art object and approaches the condition of performance. (Carroll 1986; Sayre 1989; Schimmel 1998) Performance Studies takes its lead from such developments. This field is not only intercultural in scope and spirit, but also challenges aesthetic hierarchies and analyses 22

23 how they are formed. Performance Studies encompasses not only the most valorised, but also least valued, cultural forms within these hierarchies. Like other new knowledge formations, Performance Studies starts with a set of concerns and objects and ranges widely for what it needs by way of theory and method. By theorising embodiment, event, and agency in relation to live and mediated performance, Performance Studies can potentially offer something of a counterweight to the emphasis in Cultural Studies on literature and media and on text as an extended metaphor for culture. Performance Studies can enrich the discussion of discourse, representation, the body (to be distinguished from embodiment), and identity. One can even discern what might be called a performative turn in contemporary cultural, aesthetic, and political theory. Performance Studies scholars (Schechner 2002; Connor 1997; Auslander 1992) are developing theories of heritage as a mode of cultural production that have implications for cultural policy dealing with preservation and equity in a variety of contexts. It could be said, for example, that heritage is a way of producing the local for export, tourism being a global market for this commodity. The processes of globalisation produce the local, while altering the very nature and value of the local. Performance Studies is a promising context for exploring issues of cultural creativity in relation to the challenges of twentieth century science and technology, changing knowledge industries, shifting configurations of the global and local. 23

24 2.4 The Interpretive Paradigm of the Study - Constructivism Stake (1995) believes the most distinctive characteristic of qualitative inquiry is its emphasis on interpretation. In the case of this study the gathering and interpretation of data is framed through the interpretive paradigm of constructivism. To investigate the extent of the influence globalisation, technological and cultural innovation are having upon the field of performance it is necessary to go into the field and observe the way it is made manifest. Therefore, it is appropriate to engage case study as a research methodology to extract data from the field to construct and report upon the developing poetics. Constructivism can be defined as an epistemological framework based on the notion of human beings (and human systems) as proactive meaning makers and language users. Jonassen and Grabowski define constructivism as the individual researcher forming knowledge themselves, and not relying on what someone else says is true (1993: 11). In the constructivist paradigm, the researcher acts as the creator of their own meaning. Constructivism is opposed to what Paulo Freire (1972) defines as the "transactional" or "banking" model of learning in which the participant is viewed as tabula rasa or an empty slate to be filled with knowledge. Denzin and Lincoln point out constructivists value transactional knowledge (2000: 158). That is to say, the constructivist approach is based on researcher s active engagement in problem-solving and critical thinking regarding a learning activity that they find relevant and engaging. One of the major theorists in this field, Jerome Bruner (1990) posits that learning is an active process in which researchers construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current and past knowledge. 24

25 The researcher is bound within a net of epistemological and ontological premises which become partially self validating (Bateson cited Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 13). The researcher selects and transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions, relying on a cognitive structure to do so. Cognitive structure, that is schema, mental models, provides meaning and organisation to experiences and allows the individual to go beyond the information given. An earlier theorist in this field of the constructivist theory of knowledge is John Dewey ( ). Dewey s argumentation enables one to take both the subjective (individual) and intersubjective (sociocultural) dimensions of the construction of knowledge into account within the same constructivist framework. As Toulmin, Rieke and Janik argue, Dewey s work contains a radical dismantling of the epistemological tradition displaying farsightedness, perception and originality of a kind that could hardly be recognised [at the time it appeared] (Toulmin, Rieke and Janik, 1984: ix). Moreover, they say, Dewey s critique was not intended to be merely destructive. It offered also, in outline, a positive view about the relation of knowledge to action and this view too has only been reinforced by subsequent developments within the natural sciences themselves (1984: ix-x). As a researcher, I strive to understand experience as a unified whole (Ely, 1991: 4). A leitmotif throughout Dewey s work is an attempt to reconsider the relationship of organism and environment. Dewey stressed the continuous, intrinsic connection of organism and world on the level of action, and introduced the notions of transaction 25

26 and experience. In this study, the organism can be defined as myself as researcher. Denzin and Lincoln, like Dewey also believe, qualitative researchers stress the socially constructed nature of reality, the intimate relationship between the researcher and what is studied, and the situational constraints that shape inquiry (1994: 4). Knowing, then, is not a process of registration or representation, but one of intervention. Knowledge does not refer to an external, independent and objective reality, but always participates in the action. Working in the constructivist paradigm, I am able draw from a choice of research practices [depending] upon the questions that are asked, and the questions depend on their context (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 4). These pliable qualitative practices allow a researcher to secure an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon in question. 2.5 The Methodological Approach to Qualitative Research Case Study Case study is a research method that seeks to develop theory that is grounded in data systematically gathered and analysed. According to Martin and Turner (1986), case study is an inductive theory discovery methodology that allows the researcher to develop a theoretical account of the general features of a topic while simultaneously grounding the account in empirical observations or data. The major difference between case study and other methods is its specific approach to theory development. Stake (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 435) suggests that within case study there should be a continuous interplay between data collection and analysis. Case studies have become one of the most common ways to do qualitative inquiry (Stake in Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 435), and the choice of this method of 26

27 investigation has been used extensively across a variety of social science disciplines. The basic tenet of this approach is that assertions must emerge from the data, or in other words, a case must be allowed to tell its own story (Stake in Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 441). Hence, the approach purports to be inductive rather than deductive. While some define case study research in terms of the process of doing a case study (Yin, 1994), or in terms of an end product, other scholars define the case in terms of the unit of analysis. As Stake (2000: 435) suggests, case study is less of a methodological choice than a choice of what is to be studied. The intent is to develop an account of a phenomenon that identifies the major constructs, or categories in case study terms, their relationships, and the context and process, thus providing assertions about the phenomenon within a descriptive account. Case study requires that theory is emergent from the data, but does not see these as separate. Data collection, analysis and theory formulation are regarded as reciprocally related, and the approach incorporates explicit procedures to guide this. Research questions are open and general rather than formed as specific hypotheses, and the emergent theory should account for a phenomenon which is relevant and problematic for those involved (Becker, 1993: 41). Qualitative case studies, according to Stake (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 435), share with other forms of qualitative research the search for meaning and understanding, the researcher as the primary instrument of data collection and analysis, an inductive investigative strategy, and the end product being richly descriptive. Data collection is guided by theoretically relevant constructs. The process of conducting a case study begins with the selection of the case. The selection is done purposefully, that is, a particular person, site, program, process or community known 27

28 as a bounded system (Stake in Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 436) is selected because it exhibits characteristics of interest to the researcher. The selection depends upon what the researcher wants to learn and the significance that knowledge might have for extending theory or improving practice. In the early stages of a project, open sampling of persons, sites or documents, involving purposive, systematic or fortuitous procedures, is used to discover and identify data which are relevant to the research question. In later phases, relational or variational sampling is used, either purposive or systematic, to locate data which confirms, elaborates and validates relations between categories or limits their applicability. The final phase of a project involves discriminate sampling, with deliberate and directed selection of persons, sites or documents to confirm and verify the core category and the theory as a whole, as well as to saturate poorly developed categories. Two key procedures, asking questions and making comparisons, are specifically detailed to inform and guide analysis and to aid theorising. Other procedures, journal writing and the use of diagrams, are also incorporated as essential parts of the analysis, as are procedures for identifying and incorporating interaction and process. The need for a high level of theoretical sensitivity on the part of the researcher is explicitly promoted. The case is expected to be something that functions, that operates; the study is the observation of operations. There is something to be described and interpreted (Stake in Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 444). Case study has some distinguishing features designed to maintain the groundedness of the approach. Stake (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 435-6) outlines how this groundedness can be achieved. Stake makes clear that data collection and analysis are deliberately fused, and initial data analysis is used to shape continuing data 28

29 collection. This is intended to provide the researcher with opportunities for increasing the density and saturation of recurring categories, as well as for following up unexpected findings. Interweaving data collection and analysis in this way is held to increase insights and clarify the parameters of the emerging theory. Stake s approach also argues for initial data collection and preliminary analyses to take place in advance of consulting and incorporating prior research literature. This is intended to ensure that the analysis is based in the data and that pre-existing constructs do not shape the analysis and subsequent theory formation. If existing theoretical constructs are utilised, they must be justified in the data. The reading and integrating of literature is delayed, not omitted, and is regarded as forming an important part of assertion development. Within case study methodology it is argued (Stake 1995) that the general lies in the particular, that is, what can be learnt in a particular case can be transferred to similar situations. Just as constructivism encourages personal extraction of meaning from given circumstances, case study methodology supports the notion that it is the reader and not the researcher who determines what can apply from the reported story to his or her own context. Stake (in Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 442) explains how this knowledge transfer works: Case researchers, like others, pass along to readers some of their personal meanings of events and relationship and fail to pass along others. They know that the reader, too, will add and subtract, invent and shape reconstructing the knowledge in ways that leave it more likely to be personally useful. Case study is an ideal methodology when a holistic, in-depth investigation is needed. Yin, Stake, and others who have wide experience in this methodology have developed 29

30 robust procedures. When these procedures are followed, the researcher will be following methods as well developed and tested as any in the scientific field. According to Stake (1995) whether the study is experimental or quasi-experimental, the data collection and analysis methods are known to hide some details. Case studies, on the other hand, are designed to bring out the details from the viewpoint of the participants by using multiple sources of data. Case studies are multi-perspectival analyses. This means that the researcher considers not just the voice and perspective of the participants, but also of the relevant groups of participants and the interaction between them. This one aspect is a salient point in the characteristic that case studies possess. They give a voice to the powerless and voiceless. This final point is of particular relevance to this study as the field of youth performance is rarely interrogated theoretically and its historical influence in the realm of contemporary performance has not been embraced by the broader performance sector. 2.6 The Position of the Researcher Denzin and Lincoln (2000) define qualitative research as being multimethod in focus, involving an interpretative, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. Multiple methodologies of qualitative research may be viewed as a bricolage, and the researcher as a bricoleur (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 2). A bricoleur uses a variety of empirical materials to provide solutions to a problem in a concrete situation. A bricoleur acts in the real world, in natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them (ibid). 30

31 Bricolage is a French term meaning "puttering around" or "doing odd jobs." Claude Lévi-Strauss (1966) in his text, The Savage Mind gave the term a more precise anthropological meaning by stipulating that it refers to, among other things, a kind of shamanic spontaneous creativity accompanied by a willingness to make do with whatever is at hand, rather than fuss over technical expertise. The ostensible purpose of this activity is to make sense of the world in a non-scientific, non-abstract mode of knowledge. The notion of bricolage dovetails well with a constructivist approach to research. This methodology invites researchers to acknowledge and use their own previous experience and understandings to the frame and analyse their findings. In the constructivist paradigm researchers construct their own knowledge by testing ideas and approaches based on their prior knowledge and experience, applying these to a new situation, and integrating the new knowledge gained with pre-existing intellectual constructs. Throughout the study, I will be researching using the method of bricolage, drawing together pieces of evidence through interaction with people, places and situations. Using the empirical research materials of interview, observation and survey research I will describe routine and problematic moments in individual s lives (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 2). This evidence will tell a story about the world that I as researcher have interacted with, connecting parts to the whole, stressing the meaningful relationships that operate in the situations and the social worlds studied (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 3). 31

32 The process of bricolage dovetails well with a case study approach to research. Like a bower bird, the researcher will collect data from the field and then construct the findings from the evidence like a jigsaw puzzle. A degree of objectivity must be maintained to allow the grounded data to speak for itself. Whilst it is important to acknowledge previous experience within the research frame, for it to truly be research and of academic value, one must maintain a degree of objectivity in order to maintain validity and not relegate the data to conjecture or pontification. 2.7 Objectivity in the Research Process "Objectivity is the regulative ideal that guides all inquiry [which is] largely a measure directed at how researchers undertake and carry out their research in that it requires them to be precise, unbiased, open, honest, receptive to criticism, and so on" (Smith, 1990: 171). In a similar vein, Lather states that "objectivity means being aware and honest about how one's own beliefs, values, and biases affect the research process" (1990: 319). For the purpose of this discussion, I will make a distinction between analysis and interpretation, though they are intricately connected. Analysis involves the search for pattern or significance in data within the context of the research situation. Interpretation involves explaining this pattern or significance within a wider context by applying relevant theory. Analysis questions what the data says, interpretation, what it means. In both cases, the potential for objectivity depends on the subjectresearcher interaction. Although similar factors are involved at the two levels, the difference is critical. 32

33 Researchers can reduce personal bias at the level of analysis by administering strict control. Objectivity can be increased or decreased according to the latitude of response allowed. To recognize one's personal bias - and preferably to remove it - is a critical concern at all levels. The potential to do so varies. Although removal of researcher bias may be possible at the level of recording technique, it will be impossible at a methodological level. To interpret the former as more important or more relevant than the latter or as the definitive issue related to objectivity is to ignore historical change in knowledge. This relates to the danger of unquestioned paradigms and leads to consideration of one more level of objectivity. The researcher needs to recognise his/her paradigmatic bias, to be open and honest regarding the fit of their theories with their ontological, epistemological and methodological positions. 2.8 Research Question As outlined in the introductory pages of this thesis I have maintained a long-standing interest in the field of youth performance. Working in the capacity of performer, drama educator and performance evaluator I have been provided a platform from which to view the emerging contemporary narrative in youth performance. In order to unravel the poetics of contemporary youth performance the key question which guided this investigation is: How do aspects of post-modernity and contemporary culture shape young people s choice of content and form in performance? The research is further framed by three sub-questions. These questions guide and focus each area of investigation. The questions explore the fields of technology and live performance, notion of performativity, globalisation and content creation. 33

34 1. In what ways do new media technologies and mediatised culture manifest in live performance works for and by young people? 2. What contemporary practices contribute to understandings of youth performativity in performance works? 3. Within the field of Theatre for Young People what is emerging as a new performance genre? 2.9 Design of the Study The study comprises two investigations in which data will be gathered to assist in the unpacking of the key questions and research objectives. Each investigation is situation within a bounded system which is both separate but at the same time interlocked. These bounded systems can be defined as the field of contemporary Theatre for Young People and Theatre for Young People artistic directors and commentators. Each investigation was framed by a set of questions drawn from the research objectives to guide and focus the related research Investigation One Observation is the fundamental base of all research methods in the social and behavioural sciences (Angrozino in Denzin and Lincoln, 2000: 673). Investigation One is an artistic audit of Theatre for Young People (TYP) performances which place young people in the position of performers. For the first investigation I have chosen to use a methodology labelled by Haseman (1999) as the researcher as artistic auditor. It takes its name from the music educator Keith Swanwick s use of the word audition to describe the process of attending to the symbolic form of an art work in performance. For Swanwick, auditing goes far beyond merely listening and seeing in an auditorium somewhere. 34

35 Instead it demands that the auditor possess a certain empathy for the performers and the performance context, an understanding of the traditions and conventions present in the piece and finally a willingness to go along with the performance, to take it at face value in the first instance (Haseman, 1999: 106). In this accelerated world of change, qualitative data collection methods need to adopt entirely new strategies. In keeping with the impulse of qualitative research that seeks new ways of looking, interpreting and writing, it has been necessary to develop the researcher as artistic auditor strategy to investigate the phenomena of theatrical performance. Attending to the symbolic form of the art work provides a powerful focus for investigation for each symbol functions as a means to conceptualise ideas about aspects of reality, and also as a means of conveying what is known to others (Haseman, 1999:106). The act of auditing art works moves beyond the simple act of witnessing expected of audience members. When researchers become auditors of art works, they experience a state of heightened engagement for they are exercising their ability to respond and relate intimately to the performance as an aesthetic entity (Haseman, 1999: 106). For the purposes of this study, thirty-nine works for and by young people have been audited. Predominantly these performance works have been created within TYP companies or selected groups of school students as a part of extra-curricula activity. The audit does not seek to capture data from all performance works in school environments. The audit captured data relating to the use of form, content and technology in TYP performances. This data has been translated into a tabular record of performative forms, content creation/dissemination, the use of technology and 35

36 mediatised culture (Auslander, 1999) in live performance. This table is included in Appendix 1. During the audit process journal entries of selected performances were written. I logged my observations of the performances in an effort to locate the performance in the emerging conceptual framework. Stake in Denzin and Lincoln notes that the brain work ostensibly is observational, but more basically, it is reflective (2000: 445). In my journal records I committed to pondering the impression, deliberating recollections and records (ibid.) but not necessarily following the conceptualisations of theorists, actors or audiences. These records were written in first person narrative immediately after the performance. The purpose of the entries was not to critique the performance work but to chronicle the performance and to illuminate features that were distinctive about the performance and its relationship to the concept of deterritorialisation. A fuller discussion of the theory and conceptual understanding of deterritorialisation will be discussed in chapter four. A selection of six journal entries has been evidenced in the chapter on the data analysis of form within TYP. To highlight the fact that they are written in present tense, unlike the rest of the chapter, they have been formatted in a typescript that resembles handwriting. Likewise, the performance descriptors that form Appendix Two are formatted in the same style as the journal entries when used to illuminate assertions emerging from the data when analysing the content of TYP Investigation Two Investigation Two uses the research strategy of interview. According to Holstein and Gubrium (1997) interviewers are deeply and unavoidably implicated in creating 36

37 meanings that reside with respondents. Both parties are necessarily and ineluctably active (p.114). To further extend the meanings emerging from the artistic audit I conducted interviews with six TYP practitioners who have become the informed commentators in the field of the study. Recognising that little published material existed in the field of enquiry, the interviews aimed to establish a contemporary perspective of TYP specifically as it relates to the conceptual framework of deterritorialisation. Currently, in the field of Theatre for Young People, there are many changes afoot relating to young people and their art making, notions of ownership and authentic voice, and the use of new and emerging technologies in performance. For this investigation six interviews with leading Australian practitioners were undertaken. Whilst the study is focused upon Theatre for Young People it should be noted that young people involved in performance work were not interviewed for the research. The absence of the young person s voice is deliberate. The purpose of the study is to interrogate form and content in contemporary Theatre for Young People. In the majority of cases Theatre for Young People companies are facilitated by adults. It is therefore appropriate to capture the developments in the field in terms of form and content from the perspective of the adults working with young people who are driving the field. Prior to interview all participants received a copy of the Informed Consent Package (see Appendix 4). The interview questions focussed upon at influences of contemporary performance practices in the national landscape of youth performing 37

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