Live! From Mount Olympus: Theatricizing Two Analyses of a Multimodal, Multimedia

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Ethno-theater, dramatizing analysis, student-produced video, Apollo and Dionysus


After analyzing a multimodal video produced by sixth-grade students, we found it difficult to combine our distinctive voices and approaches into one final product. Nor did we feel readers would be well served by reading one full analysis followed by a second; eventually, we tried scripting the analyses as a play. As previous ethno-theater or dramatic research has focused on dramatizing data rather than analysis, and as little has been written about researchers presenting findings by assuming characters other than themselves or anyone else directly involved in the research, we offer our method in the hopes other scholars will find it useful. Recalling the Apollonian and Dionysian approaches to understanding meaning, we assumed the characters of the half-brothers Apollo and Dionysus and performed the analyses, tinged with sibling rivalry, as a debate moderated by their father, Zeus. In scripting, rehearsing, and performing as mythical characters, we gained further insight into the layers contained in the original data (the student-produced video). In attending to the reactions of audience members (academic scholars attending a literacy conference), we also found we 'observed against ourselves' (Fetteryly, 1979) as we simultaneously identified with our roles as data objects and data creators.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Creative Approaches to Research, v. 8, issue 1, p. 75-69