Reflection On Ethnographic Theatre

2124 Words 9 Pages
This essay combines critical reflection with dramaturgical analysis to uncover some of the ethical questions that arose when working in applied ethnographic theatre with veterans of the US Armed Forces. In the aftermath of 9/11, theatre in the United States has grappled with the ongoing armed conflicts through a number of recent projects and initiatives performed throughout the country, including Basetrack Live (2014), Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (2013), and The Telling Project (2008-present). Each of these performances has taken a different approach to performance (e.g. historical dramatization, musical theatre, documentary theatre) and have involved veterans in a number of different capacities (as collaborators, performers, consultants, authors) - but all share a …show more content…
Venues have included a 160-seat proscenium on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, an art gallery in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona State Museum in Tucson (in collaboration with the University of Arizona), and in November 2016 it will be performed at Filmbar, an independent art house cinema in downtown Phoenix. During these performances, veterans have shared stories that collectively represented every major US war from Vietnam until the present. Ranging in age from 22 to 70, they come from a range of cultural, ethnic, and class backgrounds, and served in varying positions in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines including: paratrooper, military police, nuclear biological chemical specialist, helicopter captain, intelligence, recruiter, and infantry. The majority of veterans featured in our performances are currently ASU students, alumni, faculty, or employees. After graduation, one became a firefighter. Another now teaches at Gettysburg College. One is living off-grid. And one is running for Arizona State

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