Transforming a Literary Work Into a Dramatic Performance: A Qualitative Case Study of the Experiences of Selected International School Students in Thailand and Myanmar
Keywords:Dramatic Performance, Drama in Secondary School Curriculum, Acting, Stage Plays, Film, Filmmaking, Theater, Drama, Case Study, Qualitative Research
This is a qualitative case study of how selected middle and high school students at two international schools, one in Thailand and another in Myanmar, took literary texts and transformed them into dramatic performances. From 2010-2015, I directed my students in three stage plays and three films. Ten student performers from those plays and films became participants in this study. I interviewed these students about their experiences. My objective was to explore how each participant had reflected on their own personalities, characteristics, and experiences while developing their performance, whether the students, in retrospect, viewed their ultimate portrayal as being the character or themselves, and what benefits were accrued to each student through engaging in the dramatic performance. The resulting data confirmed that developing the dramatic performances had been a meaningful experience for the students. Indeed they had explored their own personalities and emotions. The participants reported powerful vicarious experiences, emotional catharsis, inward contemplation, self-analysis, and self-realization. Many of the participants had overcome shyness, increased their level of self-confidence, developed close social relationships with their fellow actors, and achieved a deeper understanding of literature. The study includes the background of the research, including an anecdote from the filming of 2012’s Romeo and Juliet which served as the impetus for the study, a review of related literature, an explanation of the study’s methodology, a narrative description of the data along with conclusions drawn from that data, and a discussion and recommendations for further research.
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