The Art of Living in Prison: The Poetics of Renewal in an Applied Theatre Program With Women Prisoners
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In 2010 I delivered a drama program for women prisoners at Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre (BWCC), which culminated in a performance for prisoners and staff. The program, Living Stories, drew from a range of drama approaches and strategies including image theatre, drama therapy, text-based work, improvisation games, drama skills development and process drama, finally touching on group devised performance. This program formed the basis for my doctoral study, in whichI initially aimed to explore how drama might be a positive activity for women in thiscontext, and to discover what drama approaches would engage them. The study istherefore an example of arts-based, practice-based qualitative enquiry in the fields ofapplied theatre and prison theatre. One of my key concerns was to find a way ofintegrating the aesthetic with the instrumental, rather than importing models fromoutside the art form of drama (for example, rehabilitation theory) to explore itstransformative or ameliorative potentials. This led me to develop a pragmatistaesthetic frame through which to view and analyse the experience of Living Stories,influenced significantly by John Dewey's (1934) Arl as Experience, and the narrativetheory of Jerome Bruner (see 1986, 1990, 1991a, 1991 b, 2004). Shusterman's (2000a,2000b, 2008b) theory of somaesthetics also informed my analysis of the embodiednature of aesthetic experience in the project.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Education and Professional Studies
Item Access Status
This thesis has been scanned. The Appendices have not been published here.
Art of knowing
Art of participation
Art of process
Art of living