Serious play : exploring the ethical tensions of license and limits in drama, theatre and performance education

Prigge, Lanon Carl (2015-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Broad global trends evidence the need for improving ethics in a variety of disciplines. The general education codes do not address the unique culture specific to teaching and learning drama, theatre and performance in tertiary institutions in South Africa. Interrogating ethics could be met with resistance and upset the status quo in education and industry. Imposing ethical frameworks from the outside-in may fail to account for the specific culture they are designed to serve. This study observes that ‘outside-in’ refers to interference from the greater systems of education (social and institutional), as well as any mandated prescriptions or strongly divergent value positions arising from within an individual educator’s own context. This study therefore explores how educators might begin the process of negotiating ethics within their personal pedagogy by assuming personal accountability. This foregrounds the value of a process and practice of ethical self enquiry over the general identification and analysis of ethical considerations. It explores personal preparatory process work ahead of anticipated negotiation of ethical value positions and concerns in group dialogue. Because narrative is central to drama and theatre and performance, this study explores and reflects on personal narrative-oriented enquiry as a means to conscientising personal ethical value positions (and evolving a ‘personal ethos’). The emphasis resides on raising personal consciousness by exploring personal resources in answer to the discussion of ethics. By personal resources is indicated: selfmotivated effort (autonomous moral agency), conscious and unconscious (tacit) historical experience and knowledge, as well as the creative talents, practices and techniques unique to their artistry and pedagogy. Also explored and reflected upon is how a raising of personal consciousness in this manner might furthermore contribute to a raising of collective consciousness. The study is presented as an autoethnographic enquiry, or Performed Narrative, that describes, examines, demonstrates and performs a process and practice of ethical self enquiry as an evocation to fellow educators. This study finds that the quest for identity and self-knowledge are shared by the three strands this Performed Narrative draws together, namely: performance, education and ethics. It proposes that if the quest for self-knowledge can somehow be foregrounded in performance and its education as an inherently ethical endeavour, it may be possible for ethical self enquiry - as a form of autonomous moral agency – to become desirable as integral to drama, theatre and performance education versus being an imposition from the outside. It suggests that this might result in a ‘paradigm shift’ that addresses ethical concerns at the level of causes rather than effects.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Breë, globale tendense dui die nood aan dat etiese aspekte in verskeie dissiplines verbeter moet word. Algemene opleidingskodes spreek nie die unieke probleme van opleiding in drama, teater en performance op tersiêre vlak in Suid-Afrika aan nie. As die etiese kodes ondersoek word, kan dit verset en weerstand veroorsaak en die status quo van die opvoedkundige sisteme en die industrie ontwrig. Verskeie faksies kan so gevorm word. As etiese raamwerke van buite af op ‘n spesifieke kultuur afgeforseer word, kan dit wees dat daardie raamwerk nie die spesifieke kultuur genoegsaam in ag neem nie. Hierdie studie stel dat die ‘buite-na binne’ benadering nie net inmenging van ‘n groter opvoedkundige sisteem of ‘n spesifieke instansie impliseer nie, maar die benadering dui ook op die voorskrifte en verskillende waardeposisies wat die verskillende kontekste waarin die individu homself bevind, aandui. Hierdie studie verken hoe opvoeders ‘n proses van etiese ondersoek van hul persoonlike pedagogie kan onderneem, deur persoonlike verantwoordelikheid te aanvaar. Dit fokus die waarde op ‘n proses en die praktyk van etiese selfondersoek bo die algemene identifikasie en analise van etiese oorwegings. Die studie verken persoonlike voorbereidingsproseswerk voordat die geantisipeerde onderhandelinge van etiese waardeposisies en besorgdhede in groepsdialoog kan plaasvind. Narratief speel ‘n sentrale rol in drama, teater en performance en daarom verken, ondersoek en reflekteer hierdie studie die persoonlike narratiewe ondersoek as ‘n metode tot ‘n bewusmaking van ‘n persoonlike etiese waardeposisionering (‘n persoonlike etos). Die klem lê op die proses van persoonlike bewuswording deur verskillende persoonlike hulpbronne te verken om sodoende antwoorde in die etiese gesprek te kry. Met die persoonlike hulpbronne word daar verwys na: selfgemotiveerde inspanning (outonome, morele handelinge), bewustelike en onbewustelike (versweë) geskiedkundige ervarings en kennis, sowel as kreatiewe talente, praktyke en tegnieke wat uniek is aan die kuns en pedagogie van drama en teater. Daar word ook gekyk na en gereflekteer op hoe die bewuswording van ‘n persoonlike bewussyn deur middel van hierdie metodes kan bydra tot ‘n verhoogde, kollektiewe bewustheid. Hierdie studie word as ‘n Performed Narratief aangebied, ‘n outo-etnografiese ondersoek wat beskryf, ondersoek, demonstreer en ‘n proses van praktiese etiese selfondersoek perform om as oproeping vir ander opvoeders in die veld te dien. Hierdie studie bevind dat die soeke na ‘n identiteit en selfkennis gedeel word met die drie verskillende strome wat hierdie Performed Narratief saamtrek, naamlik performance, opleiding en die etiek. Die studie stel dat as die strewe na selfkennis op ‘n manier as ‘n inherente etiese onderneming in performance en performance-opleiding vooropgestel word, en sodoende kan dit moontlik wees dat etiese selfondersoek – as ‘n vorm van outonome morele handeling – deel vorm van drama, teater en performance opleiding word, in plaas daarvan dat dit deur ‘n eksterne sisteem voorgeskryf word. Die studie bevind dat dit ‘n paradigmaskuif kan veroorsaak wat die etiese kwessies aanspreek ten opsigte van die oorsaak daarvan, eerder as die gevolg.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97583
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