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Title: Living through extremes : an exploration of integrating a Bondian approach to theatre into 'living through' drama
Author: Bethlenfalvy, Adam Bence
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 7146
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2017
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The professional dissatisfaction with his training based on the Conventions approach to drama led the researcher to examine the possibilities of incorporating the theory and practice of contemporary playwright Edward Bond into drama in education lessons based on a 'living through' approach in an action research project. The work of Heathcote, Bolton, O'Neill and Davis was examined and characteristics of a living through approach aiming for a powerful element of 'being' in the drama, producing a metaxis effect, were identified. A detailed analysis of Bond's theory and practice helped in defining the aim of this research, which was to investigate if Bondian Drama Events can be created in Living Through Drama. This study explores how participants can be supported in making drama of depth on their own with moments that dislocate dominant social explanations from within the narrative, urging those watching or participating to make their own meaning of events in the drama. Nineteen drama lessons were conducted with ten different groups and two different age-groups in the two cycles of research. The first cycle explored the inclusion of Bondian concepts and structures in a Living Through Drama framework and came to the finding that participants need some conscious understanding of the concepts and structures to be able to create Drama Events in living through improvisations. The second cycle explored the impact of offering three central components of Bondian drama explicitly to participants to facilitate them creating Drama Events in improvisation independently of the teacher. Offering three components of Bondian theatre explicitly to participants is a significant development of Davis's (2014) exploration of Bondian process drama and can be contrasted to the Conventions approach's relationship to theatre which focusses primarily on form. Though the research did not succeed in creating unequivocal Drama Events important new insights for the field of drama in education emerged. Analysis of the data collected showed that the participants' awareness of Bondian concepts and structures enhanced their participation in living through improvisations and created possibilities for them to create gaps in meaning. Further key areas of findings include the connection between the narratives used and the exploration of the participants' concerns; the role of extreme narratives in motivation, testing values and the protection offered by fiction; and use of objects in exploring problems within the drama. The approach developed in the research project can be defined as a reinterpretation of Living Through Drama that visibly rekindles the connection with theatre form and theory and aims to enhance participants' ability to use theatre to explore how socio-political narratives impact on individuals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W400 Drama ; X200 Research and Study Skills in Education