Autobiographical performances and intimacy

Gil, Maria (2009) Autobiographical performances and intimacy. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The purpose of this research is to lend understanding to autobiographical performances that promote a closer relationship with the audience, whether they ask for explicit participation of the audience or not. I will argue that autobiographical performances are understood through the relation between autobiography and intimacy and not intimacy or autobiography alone.
In the first chapter, I introduce the main issues and theories related to the performer-audience relation in autobiographical performances. Secondly, I introduce ideas on empathy, intersubjectivity and ethics. I also indicate how notions such as hospitality and listening sustain and support ideas of intimacy. In the second chapter, I illustrate how these issues are addressed in practical terms. I examine how these issues are explored and worked out by the performer and how artistic practice can use and be informed by such theoretical inputs in order to help performers. I start this chapter by providing a brief account of the context in which my practical research was developed followed by a list of the key-moments of the research that I explore in greater depth and detail afterwards.
I conclude that intimacy is something the performer cannot control or predict but there are options the performer can make which help intimacy to emerge. In the case of the performance Glasgow 4, the Name of All the Streets, those options privileged and focussed on the autobiographical stories, and in the performer's ability in communicating those stories; in a refusal of a spectacular set or/and light design; and in a focus on the 'listening aspect' of the performance. All these decisions and options helped to draw attention to the rational aspect of the performance and they have helped the performers and the audience to feel more intimate with each other.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Heddon, Dr. Deirdre
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-915
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:28

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