Politics of transmission: dialogue between the unsighted student and the sighted tutor

Jo Ronan (Contributor), Alyson Woodhouse (Contributor)

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


    This hour long workshop will be jointly led by my student Alyson Woodhouse who is blind and me, her sighted tutor. It follows on from a paper we presented at the Alchemists at Work applied theatre conference at York St. John last year where I discussed the complexity of performance training sites for Alyson, making clear they were not limited to applied theatre contexts. Whilst directing Alyson in a traditional text-based play, The Seagull, the combination of pedagogies of actor training/applied theatre, applications of community and postmodern ethics facilitated Alyson’s learning prompted by multiple sites. Using the practice of Boal and applying them alongside Stanislavski, Brecht and Michael Chekhov, I developed a rehearsal room vocabulary that pushed the ensemble’s competencies as actors but more importantly developed their practice and thinking as artists. The ensemble of the unsighted student and fourteen sighted students was premised on Delanty’s “postmodern ethics based on individual autonomy and in which the inclusion of the other is not the price to be paid for the identity of self” (Delanty in Kuppers and Robertson 2008: 32) and Bauman’s belief that “If there is to be a community in the world of individuals, it can only be (and needs to be) a community woven together from sharing and mutual care (Bauman in Kuppers and Robertson 2008: 32). Whilst the rehearsal model I developed is valuable, sight is still privileged in Alyson’s training and the work she makes or is involved in is for sighted people. This workshop is an experiment to privilege blindness in constructions of pedagogies of performance training with Alyson leading on workshop design. We will use Stanislavski’s communion exercise and extend it to sense of touch with a view to producing new performance texts prompted by our senses. The audience will participate fully in at least one component of the workshop but will be active observers (sometimes sighted, sometimes unsighted) throughout.
    Resources: Eye masks for all participants/attendees (depending on the size of the group, some will not be blindfolded as they will be custodians of safety)
    Time will be required to arrange the room
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2013
    EventTheatre & Performance Research Association Conference 2013 - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: 4 Sept 20136 Sept 2013


    ConferenceTheatre & Performance Research Association Conference 2013
    Abbreviated titleTaPRA 2013
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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