Rethinking research: theatre practice and research dissemination through digital storytelling

Jenny O'Connor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The Lyrical Bodies project at Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland considers the oppression of deaf women in Ireland, and their resistance to the usurping of power, status and human rights that continues to this day. It builds upon the work of SETU colleagues in English and Theatre Studies, Dr Una Kealy and Dr Kate McCarthy.

In February 2022 and again in June 2022, Dublin Theatre of the Deaf theatre makers Amanda Coogan, Lianne Quigley and Alvean Jones joined staff and students in SETU to workshop the only ballet written by deaf Waterford playwright Teresa Deevy, a ballet that has never been performed. The workshop explored themes of respect and inclusion and considered how Deevy utilised the medium of ballet to invoke reflections on the socio-cultural environment of the mid-twentieth century.

I documented this workshop with a view to using photo and video footage to build a storymap of this unusual blend of research and theatre practice. Preliminary work will employ ArcGIS storymapping software to structure the personal stories of researchers, theatre makers and deaf participants. Particular challenges will be both ethical and technical in nature. They will include ensuring that stories are told collaboratively, with a focus on using digital storytelling as a document of a unique historical moment told from multiple perspectives and as a method of research dissemination. It is also vital that digital stories are accessible for both hearing and deaf audiences.

This paperl discusses the preparation for, and initial recording of, this phase of this work, paying particular attention to the importance of reviving the work of Teresa Deevy and the reclamation of theatrical spaces for deaf theatre makers and participants.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Title of host publicationInternational Digital Storytelling Conference
Publication statusUnpublished - 20 Jun 2022

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