'Letting it breathe': writing and performing the words of others

Enright, H (2011) ''Letting it breathe': writing and performing the words of others.' Studies in Theatre and Performance, 31 (2). pp. 181-192. ISSN 1468-2761

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Since 2004, I have written three plays whose central focus has been the personal narratives of real people. For each play I conducted the interviews that source the plays' content. I wrote the subsequent plays, and in some cases directed and performed in them. This article examines some of the challenges that arose when resituating personal narratives into performance. I examine challenges encountered during writing, rehearsal and performance, especially regarding representation and responsibility (in, for example, the issue of third-party representation). I discuss my method of ‘punctuating’ the transcribed material dialogue as a kind of free verse in order to try to ‘let it breathe’ in performance. The aim: to help actors in their delivery of verbatim text. The article draws on a final set of interviews, formal and informal, with the actors themselves—in order further to illuminate my process.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: narrative, representation, responsibility, testimony, ‘punctuating’, verbatim,
Divisions: Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1386/stap.31.2.181_1
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2016 15:09
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:39
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/5706
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