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Proposal NWSA'07 Final

Proposal NWSA'07 Final

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NWSA conference 2007 General conference session PANEL Title: Performing identities: Critical analysis of the use of theatre to address social justice issues Abstract: This panel session will explore the use of theatre-based education/prevention programs to address social justice issues, such as sexual violence, racism, homophobia. The primary aim of this panel is to engage in critical analysis of the use of performance as a tool for prevention of and education about social issues. Presenters wil
NWSA conference 2007 General conference session PANEL Title: Performing identities: Critical analysis of the use of theatre to address social justice issues Abstract: This panel session will explore the use of theatre-based education/prevention programs to address social justice issues, such as sexual violence, racism, homophobia. The primary aim of this panel is to engage in critical analysis of the use of performance as a tool for prevention of and education about social issues. Presenters wil

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Published by: Cierra Olivia Thomas-Williams on May 06, 2011
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NWSA conference 2007General conference session PANEL Title: Performing identities: Critical analysis of the use of theatre toaddress social justice issuesAbstract: This panel session will explore the use of theatre-basededucation/prevention programs to address social justice issues, suchas sexual violence, racism, homophobia. The primary aim of this panelis to engage in critical analysis of the use of performance as a tool forprevention of and education about social issues. Presenters will movebeyond description of campus-based performance initiatives, to offer avariety of critical perspectives on the role of performance
as education andsocial justice activism
.Moderator: Donna Bickford, director, UNC, Carolina Women’s CenterIn line with the conference sub-theme, performing feminisms, thispanel session will explore the use of theatre-basededucation/prevention programs to address social justice issues, suchas sexual violence, racism, homophobia. The use of performance andtheatre as a tool for prevention and education continues to gaincurrency as a ‘best practice’ in higher education. Examples of suchprograms range from campus-based initiatives (e.g., University of  Texas, Austin’s Voices Against Violence, Cornell’s Interactive TheatreEnsemble) to nationally recognized performance groups (e.g.,Equalogy). This session will provide an overview of theatre-basededucation/prevention programs to address social justice issues. Thisoverview will include discussion of the various techniques andapproaches (e.g., Baol’s
Theatre of the Oppressed 
). Then, presenterswill share their respective research, including investigation of predominant discourses taken up to depict men and women in theatre-based sexual violence prevention programs, evaluation of theatre-based prevention programs, and theorizing on the uses of theatre as ameans for social justice. Following the presentation of papers, amoderator will facilitate discussion on the use of feminist performanceas an educational tool, the potential to self-script social change, andthe importance of shifting from a monologue/dialogue to polyphony of voices that empowers individuals to act.Presenter 1: Dr. Susan V. Iverson, assistant professor, Kent StateUniversity
 
 Title of Presentation: Performing gender: A discourse analysis of theatre-based sexual violence prevention programsAmong the numerous approaches that are employed to prevent sexualviolence, the performance of scenarios has become one of the‘promising practices’ in U.S. post-secondary education. This articledescribes findings from a pilot study to analyze scripts used fortheatre-based sexual violence prevention programs. Employing themethod of discourse analysis, this study analyzed five sexual violenceprevention scripts from three higher education institutions to identifythe predominant discourses taken up to depict men and women intheatre-based sexual violence prevention programs. Analysis revealeddominant discourses of masculinity and femininity shaping images of men as heroes and abusers and women as vulnerable and victims. Thispresentation will consider the unintended effects of scripting socialproblems.Presenter 2: Dr. Beverly Black & Dr. Arlene Weisz, Wayne StateUniversity Title of Presentation: Evaluating a theatre-based sexual assaultprevention programDrs. Weisz and Black, in collaboration with a local sexual assaultprevention program, coordinated a peer educational theaterproduction for the local university community in 1997. A staff memberfrom the local sexual assault prevention program originally wrote theplay, entitled “Hold Her Down,” for high school audiences. We adaptedit for the university community. We recruited students, primarily fromthe School of Social Work, to present two performances of the adaptedplay on our campus. We evaluated the program with pre-test,posttest, and a follow-up questionnaire. We also held focus groupsafter the program so that audience members could discuss theirreactions to the play. This presentation will share evaluative results,drawn from quantitative and qualitative data, on the uses of theatricalprevention program to address dating violence and sexual assault oncampus.Presenter 3: Carrie Hoelzer, artist and graduate student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Title of Presentation: Performance art as a transformative toolPerformance art continues to be a tool that many women findcontributes to their personal transformation. Some reoccurring motivesof women have include 1) moving from viewing one’s self as a passive
 
to an active agent within their environment, and 2) calling attention tothe dominant paradigm with the hope of disrupting it. By engaging inacts of performing gender, re-enacting memory, and role playing,women escape isolation and create effective networks of communication. This paper will provide an overview of feminist artistswho have engaged in performance art and other experiential modes of expression throughout the last 45 years. Deploying expressive paths of self-investigation have enabled and empowered women, typicallydealing with personal difficulty, to impact change in their own thinking,as well as in the perceptions of others around them, regarding socialproblemsPresenter 4: Walter Gershon, assistant professor, Kent State University Title of Presentation: Expression and Intent: A process for creatingsocial justice theatre The arts are powerful media for posing questions, considering options,and reflecting society. More recent forms of activist theater are beingused in ever increasing venues and formats to raise awareness aboutissues of social justice. However, as often happens in any organizedevent, an emphasis on the correctness of structure or outcomessupersedes the very process a given framework is intended toproduce; adherence to format and technique may disempower thosethe medium seeks to empower (actors and audience). Rather than useany one particular framework (e.g., Baol’s
Theatre of the Oppressed 
),this paper proposes that the process for creating theater for issues of social justice can be conveyed as intent and expression. It is theauthor’s assertion that this process will produce theater that is locallymeaningful, and as such, carry the necessary gravitas that opensdialogue about issues of justice to those on-stage and off.

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