RelationCRIPs with Dramaturgy: The Intervention of the Dramaturge in Devised CRIP Theatre

Tonya Rae Chrystian

Abstract


Disability theatre has a complex Canadian history according to disability studies scholar Kirsty Johnson, and “Canadian artists with disabilities have found many and provocative ways to ‘get on stage’” (Johnson 4). The formation of disability art and theatre is as multifaceted and diverse as disability itself, but there will always remain a part of the process that must confront the ableism and exclusion perpetuated by the social models of oppression both on and offstage.  As disability theatre seeks to challenge dominant narratives, relocate the status of the disabled body, and positively re-imagine the value of disability, one of the important components is the role that dramaturgy can play in the formation of disability theatre, particularly in the case of devised CRIP theatre. This paper will explore some of the interventions and approaches dramaturgy may subsume to support the creation of experiential theatre that expresses the lives and narratives of disabled and mixed communities. The arguments explored in this paper will be supplemented with material taken from the collaborative production of Love in the Margins that was part of the 2016 Chinook Series in Edmonton, Alberta, becoming the first professional presentation of disability theatre in Edmonton.  This paper will also explore topics such as the role of playwriting and dramaturgy in devised, experiential, and social-justice theatre, how the word “professional” can be inclusively re-defined, and the problems, processes, and ethical questions of journeying from devised community theatre to professional theatre. 


Keywords


CRIP, theatre, disability, dramaturgy, intervention, love, sex, margins

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15353/cjds.v6i4.387

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The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies is Published by the Canadian Disability Studies Association-Association Canadienne des Études sur l'Incapacité, and is hosted and supported by the University of Waterloo.

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