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Dramaturge as midwife: the writing process within a New Zealand community theatre project

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This article examines the different writing processes within a New Zealand intra-cultural community theatre project. Drawing on a practitioner perspective I explore how marginalized minority community groups were able to write their own stories and discover a collective identity. In analysing this process I develop the metaphor of the midwife to conceptualize and theorize the role of the dramaturge. I use this case study to interrogate Barthes's notion (1977) of the death of the author and Bhabha's argument (1994) about how some forms of multiculturalism can lead to political empowerment. In conclusion, I suggest that this multi-authored community project exemplifies the kind of empowerment that Bhabha describes.

Keywords: community theatre; dramaturge as midwife; metaphor and empowerment; writing process

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Auckland University.

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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  • The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice is the official organ of the Writing Purposefully in Art and Design (Writing PAD) network. It offers art and design institutions an arena in which to explore and develop the notion of thinking through writing as a parallel to visual discourse in art and design practice. The journal aims to extend the debates to all national and international higher educational art and design institutions.
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