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Applied theatre in corrections: Community, identity, learning and transformation in the facilitated, collaborative processes of performative, artistic praxis

Janna L Goodwin, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

This dissertation explores learning, community, identity and transformation as these transpire in the situated practices and process of The Performance Project, an artist-facilitated performing group that began in a county jail. Interpretation and discussion respond to the primary philosophical framework of Deweyan pragmatism and to Etienne Wenger's theory of learning, Communities of Practice, which is grounded in the assumption that engagement in social practice is the fundamental process by which people learn and develop a sense of identity. Too, aspects of Performance Theory are employed, as is methodological scaffolding, proposed by ethnographers of communication, that supports an understanding of the ways language and ritual may point to sacred objects and principles around which a community is organized. This dissertation submits a theoretical entity for consideration, “facilitated communities of collaborative, performative, artistic praxis,” proposing a model for pedagogic application, and contributes to an area of inquiry that is, in the author's view, under-explored by scholars of communication or performance: what occurs, for whom, in collaborative creative processes derived from theatre practices and explicitly centered upon art, participation and change. ^

Subject Area

Social research|Communication|Theater|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Goodwin, Janna L, "Applied theatre in corrections: Community, identity, learning and transformation in the facilitated, collaborative processes of performative, artistic praxis" (2005). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3163669.
https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3163669

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