Canadian Shakespeare News

Shakespeare and Practice-Based Research: Special Issue of CJPRT Just Released

CASP is pleased to announce the recent publication of Shakespeare and Practice-Based Research, Volume 3, Number 1 (2011) of the  Canadian Journal of Practice-based Research in Theatre.

Here’s the Editorial Comment from Claire Borody:

The Canadian Journal of Practice-based Research in Theatre has now

existed for two years, has undergone a change in editorial staff, and an expansion in the mandate designed to serve further inclusiveness – that of creative process in theatre pedagogy – while retaining the original purpose for CJPRT’s existence “as a forum for personal, artistic reflection”. We at CJPRT continue to be interested in research work that is being generated in the name of practical experimentation and how that serves the advancement of the art, and/or the way in which theatre and performance is discussed and subsequently theorized.

In his 1910 essay, How We Think, John Dewey talks about the importance of reflecting both at the beginning and at the end of an experience in order to fully register the difference that was made in an individual’s way of viewing the world: “Observation exists at the beginning and then at the end of a process: at the beginning, to determine more definitely and precisely the nature of the difficulty to be dealt with; at the end to test, the value of some hypothetically entertained conclusion” (77). This notion is even more important in the present, in a world in which sustained thought and reflection are no longer part of most peoples’ lives. This rare quality of careful reflection is precisely what the contributors to this edition of CJPRT have done: each in their own way.

The issue features three articles and a suite of poems that all use the work of William Shakespeare as a starting point for very different explorations of the Bard’s work. In essence the collection illustrates, in a very precise way, the range of research expression that we at CJPRT embrace as practice-based research. Furthermore, this fascinating range of experimental approach and form is accentuated by the fact that all offerings feature an interaction with Shakespeare’s writing as the impetus for research.

Sky Gilbert’s practical and theoretical musings on The Shakespeare Project – a three-year SSHRC funded project – question the nature of physical constructs of masculinity and femininity through the process of staging three distinctly different versions of Shakespeare’s texts; a recontextualized contemporary interpretation, a true-as-possible historical recreation and a camp construction of the same scenes. Donnard Mackenzie and George Belliveau’s article, presented as a dialogue, explores the processes of creative negotiation between a professional playwright and a SSHRC funded research team, led by Belliveau. This project studied a group of elementary school students, their teacher, other staff and administrators and parents, as the class rehearses and performs A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream as a medium for both curriculum and community building. Clayton Jevne reflects on the origination of his One Man Hamlet and on the two and a half decades of continuous development and adjustment of the piece during over 600 performances worldwide. Finally, Per Brask offers a suite of poetic reviews –spectapoems – inspired by the viewing, the seeing, of a series of Shakespearean plays in various locations over the course of two years.

In a move toward a more multiplatform journal—capable of hosting archival materials such as scripts, designs and videos—we are also pleased to offer the illustrated play-text produced by Mackenzie with reflections from the research team, and videos of Gilbert’s The Shakespeare Experiment shot by Ian Jarvis.

We hope you enjoy your journey through this newest issue of CJPRT.

The Editors

To download a .pdf of Sky Gilbert’s article, “The Shakespeare Experiment: A Seduction in the form of an Essay,” click below.

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