Theatre and Performance MA, 2014, University of Sheffield; English Literature BA(hons), 2002, University of Sheffield; Secondary English PGCE, 2003, Sheffield Hallam University.
Dr Carmen Levick, Dr Bill McDonnell
Performance; Family Histories; Stories; Transtextuality; Practice
My research project is practice-led and is investigating how family histories can be shared through performance experiences. I am exploring how performance can explore relationships between public, private, personal and professional histories. This research uses uses Gérard Genette’s framework of transtextuality as an analytical tool. This framework offers a set of terms that can be used to unpick the relationships between and within texts. By considering performance as a form of hypertext, it will be possible to consider elements of the performance as individual texts, as well as in relation to other texts inside and outside of the performance.
As a researcher, I am developing practice that makes use of my own family history and that invites audience participants to reflect on theirs. I am analysing the process of developing and sharing new performances that weave multiple texts into hypertexts. Some of these texts may have physical presence in the performance work, in the form of objects, whilst other texts may be integrated into spoken narrative or may be revealed through action. Increasingly the method of play is becoming significant in my research and in September 2017 I presented at the TaPRA conference on this topic. In the gallery at the conference, I invited delegates to play with a pack cards illustrated with photographs representing family history and performance. The intention was that every game played with the cards provided a new version of the performance hypertext and the cards become both document and performance experience.