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Whose story is it anyway? Exploring ethical dilemmas in performed research

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As researchers in the field of education continue to expand the use of theatre as a device for inquiry-related purposes, increased attention is being paid to important methodological and ethical implications related to performatively representing and disseminating research findings. This article examines some of these issues within the context of a research project that used theatre to fictionalize the inner voices of educators in an attempt to reveal the multiple perspectives and loyalties that significantly characterize interpersonal dynamics within educational settings. The article begins with a scene from an ethnotheatre play that was designed by the researchers to serve as a site of inquiry that would enable researcher-participants, performers and audience members to performatively explore these inner voices. Who these inner voices belong to and the ethical implications involved in fictionalizing them are issues that are explored in some detail by the authors as these attempt to bring greater clarity to the process of theatricalizing and performing research.
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Keywords: ethics; ethnotheatre; inner voices; performed research

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of British Columbia.

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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  • Performing Ethos is a refereed, interdisciplinary journal which considers ethical questions relating to contemporary theatre and live performance. Global in scope, it provides a unique forum for rigorous scholarship and serious reflection on the ethical dimensions of a wide range of performance practices from the politically and aesthetically radical to the mainstream.
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