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The methodology of ethnotheatre 
Ricardo Seiça Salgado (CRIA - UC (Center for Research in Anthropology, University of Coimbra))
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Wednesday 22 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Lisbon

Short Abstract:

Participants are expected to acquire a general and systematic perception of the ethnotheatre methodology and to understand the mechanism of the participant observation techniques involved, with potential for use in their own researches.

Long Abstract:

Ethnotheatre is a methodology in which the interlocutors of an ethnographic investigation are actors of a theatrical performance. It takes ethnography as an epistemological gesture of anthropology and theatre as a methodological gesture of participant observation. It is, therefore, a way of approaching a sociocultural question or problematic within a group of belonging, and a way of making a world to interpret, analyse and dramatize personal and sociocultural observations and arguments of this common life.

This laboratory aims to relate the collaborative process of building a theatrical performance with the purposes of a research-action that seeks to understand a certain common problem. We use practical examples from two ethnographies to demonstrate the breadth of possible applications for this methodology: studying the forms of resistance of a university theatre group and those created by prison inmates. I hope that there will also be a practical part in which participants are invited to simulate an interview and to experiment with the proposed performative processes in order to practice some combinations of the used participant observation techniques (interview, photo-elicitation, performance, focus-group).

The aim is to clarify the methodology of the ethnotheatre, namely how the researcher's role fits in, the kind of involvement with the interlocutors, the type of meetings, the degree of participation, the modes of documentation, and the ability to put the created ideas into the worldview.

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