Critical Plays is the systematic study of one (fictional) classroom culture populated by six students and their two professors, imaginatively conceived from interviews, experience, observation and thematic analysis, and shaped into performance text. This play-as-research-text aims to provide an encounter both creative and scholarly for readers. The characters who populate it are drawn from the authors’ lived experiences as researchers, teachers, and performance makers. The characters are drawn from the fields of health, performance studies, education and leadership studies to remind readers of the political, social and scholarly power of creative research approaches. The text also attests to the potential of integrating emotion and relationality in the research space. This text is a must-read for qualitative researchers and students of health sciences, communications, interdisciplinary ethnography, rhetoric, education, sociology, drama and theatre arts. Relevant to the lives of an emerging generation of researchers and students, this text highlights new methodological pathways that are open to them as they begin their own scholarly undertakings in a rapidly-evolving global research landscape. It also poses serious questions about education, identity and creativity that readers can reflect on. Written with humor and passion, students will enjoy reading excerpts aloud in class, or on their own. This play can be read or performed purely for pleasure, or used as a class text in courses that address qualitative research methods, performance studies, education, teacher training, pedagogy and curriculum, arts-informed inquiry and research ethics.
About the Author
Anne Harris, PhD is a playwright and scholar who addresses themes of diversity, creativity and gender in her work.
Chris Sinclair is Head of drama education at the University of Melbourne. She is also a freelance community artist who draws on research in her arts practice and the arts in her research.