For my artefact I have decided to create a manuscript, based on those that theatre practitioners have been writing since the time of Aristotle: they wrote about the theatre of their time, about the theatre practice they observed and created, and debated.
While taking Module Two, I became completely fascinated by the study of ethics. While reading Plato, I came across 'The Republic', in which the characters of Socrates and Adeimantus discuss (amongst other topics) the place of the arts in a 'perfect' society. This led me to a lesser known piece by Plato, called 'Ion', in which Socrates questions the actor, Ion, about the ethics of performance and his place in society.
Because I was looking at Modern Theatre, and questioning what place New Writing has in society, I thought this contrast was perfect; looking at modern theatre and modern society, based on the first texts that codified and questioned the Western theatre tradition.
I have written a first draft, very much in the 'high language' style of many of the translations of Plato, and will work on this for the next couple of weeks, refining and developing it.
I am intending to use an online tool to self-publish it in book format, and I am working with an illustrator to create a couple of pieces of original artwork.
Image Source: teaching.shu.ac.uk
Midnight Conversation - Hogarth
This is the sort of style of illustration that I am hoping to use!
Who Is Your Audience?
The instructions in the Reader suggest that the artefact should be the results of the inquiry, written and presented for a professional audience, or an audience of peers. I hope that this will be the case!
I intend this work to be of interest to those working in all aspects of theatre, but particularly New Theatre, as I feel that, during the interviews and conversations, I personally have gained a clearer understanding of my professional practice, and the motivations and reasons for those who work within this sphere, and I hope to pass on this information.
Interviewing current practitioners on their thoughts about the current state of theatre in the UK has led me to a greater understanding of the issues (both positive and negative) that surround this niche area of the industry, and I hope that this will be of interest to anyone who works in, or has an interest in, theatre and new writing.
Image Source: simonstaffans.com
Is It a Product or a Work In Progress?
The final draft will be a product, as (as I mentioned) I am using an online tool to create a book or pamphlet-style publication. However, I hope that the conversations I have begun during the research phase will be a work-in-progress for many years!