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The drama of doing: occupation and the here-and-now

Rowe, Nick (2004) The drama of doing: occupation and the here-and-now. The journal of occupational science, 11 (2). pp. 75-79.

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In this reflective discussion of Playback Theatre, parallels are drawn between occupation and drama, as a thing that is done, an embodied performance. Playback is considered from the perspectives of both performers, who respond to the teller's autobiographical narrative and the audience, who witness the performers’ and the teller's response. The moment of enactment of the story is presented as a kind of threshold, where the performers are in the moment and aware of the moment as they listen and begin to respond to the story. They tune into their somatic and emotional responses, call forth personal experiences that elicit ‘empathic imagination’, and listen for the imagery, emotions and cultural narratives embedded in the story. Knowledge of theatrical conventions, sequences remembered from previous performances, and collaboration with fellow performers compound the mix. The performance is discovered as it unfolds, with the phenomenological essence of the story creatively revealed in the doing. Understanding how ideas and artworks are created through and in the doing, it is proposed, is important if occupational science is to understand how the present is infused with the past, even as we inhabit the here and now.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2004.9686534
School/Department: School of the Arts
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/185

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