Author Krissy Yin Lam, Phyllis Po-ting Mak, Karen Pik-yiu Wong, Alex Lok-ping Yeung
Affiliation Hong Kong Art School, Hong Kong (Krissy Yin Lam)
The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (Phyllis Po-ting Mak)
Transformer Theatre, Hong Kong (Karen Pik-yiu Wong)
Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong (Alex Lok-ping Yeung)
Article Language English

APA Citation

Lam, K., Mak, P., Wong, K., Yeung, A. (2017). An alternative path: a physical and metaphorical group-devised ethnodrama. The Journal of Drama and Theatre Education in Asia, 7, 29-52.

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Graffitopia is a group-devised ethnodrama on the lives of twelve children aged 6 to 12 of different family and socio-economical backgrounds in Hong Kong. It was performed in May 2015 in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, a public performance venue. In this paper, using Graftopia as a case study, we discuss how researcher-devisingperformers (RDPs) embody, transform and present ethnographic data in the creative process of an ethnodrama, and how such process deepens the RDPs’ understanding of the informants, themselves as well as the devising methodology and aesthetics of ethnodrama. The devising process of the eight RDPs were recorded and studied, and small-group interviews with all the RDPs were conducted towards the last stage of the rehearsal process to investigate their experience and moments of discoveries throughout the creative process. It has been found that the physical, stylised, metaphorical, and reflective devising process and performing style generated an aesthetic space for the RDPs to build not only their understanding of the ethnographic data, but also a strong connection between the RDPs’ selves and the children’s lived experience. Such aesthetic space is crucial to the transformative power, authenticity, research purposes, educational and artistic values of ethnodrama as a form of applied theatre.

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