Recreating a Lost Culture Using the Web: A Case Study of the Creation of a Contemporary Vaudeville Performance

By Delyse Ryan.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The physical embodiment of the ideas, characters, and themes presented in theatrical performances is a fundamental issue in the learning process for drama students. The body is an important site for acquiring a variety of different knowledge. Technology has enabled new ways of replicating body movements and performance styles from past theatrical periods. At Australian Catholic University, I devised a unit which explores Brisbane’s theatre history. One aspect of the assessment for this unit was the re-creation of a vaudeville performance based on their knowledge of performances held at Brisbane’s Cremorne Theatre during World War II. This performance project was only made possible through the students’ interaction with technology. The physical embodiment of what the students were seeing in their online research on the Internet aided the learning process. This paper will demonstrate how students can use the Internet to good effect for research purposes when devising a performance. This paper will examine the role that the use of the Internet played in helping the students to create the performance. Vaudeville was a completely alien art form for many of the students but their online research uncovered YouTube clips and historical newspapers as well as pictorial and descriptive material about acts from around the world. With only three weeks to prepare, the students were able to harness the technologies that they use constantly in their daily lives to help them to develop the production.

Keywords: Drama, Using the Web, Devising Performances, Embodied Learning

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.97-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 205.207KB).

Dr. Delyse Ryan

Senior Lecturer in Drama, School of Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Delyse Ryan has worked at Australian Catholic University since 1995 and during these years has been dedicated to providing students with invaluable opportunities to produce public performances in a community context. As a theatre director she has created an eclectic range of performances including self-devised performances as well as unique versions of classic and contemporary plays. Her teaching and research interests primarily relate to Australian theatre history.

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