The Living Newspaper 2.0: A New Hybrid of Traditional Living Newspaper Forms

Date
2024
Authors
Labagnara, Julie
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Stirr, Anna
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Theatre
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My research focuses on the creation and implementation of the Living Newspaper 2.0, a template for political theatre creation. Drawing from Performance Studies, my research explores theatrical techniques, processes, and innovations of the historical Federal Theatre Project Living Newspaper tradition and the contemporary collaborative creation methods of The Crossroads: A Prison Cabaret. Based on this research and through the Performance as Research process, I developed the Living Newspaper 2.0, a step-by-step guide for developing a contemporary Living Newspaper production that addresses a specific socio-political issue. Through Performance as Research, the Living Newspaper 2.0 was put through a real-world trial that assessed the template’s efficiency. Implementing the Living Newspaper 2.0 yielded Always Present, Rarely Recognized, a Living Newspaper on Misogyny and its negative consequences. The process consisted of experimentations in theatre devising, script format, theatre methods, and the integration of technology and theatre. The entire process is thoroughly documented in seven appendices that accompany this dissertation. These are evidence of the impact of the play and who that the Living Newspaper 2.0 template is having the intended results. This dissertation draws from theatre history, documentary theatre, political theatre, and collaborative creation processes. It contributes to Canadian Theatre History by providing the first scholarly analysis of the collaborative creation practices utilized in The Crossroads: A Prison Cabaret. However, its main contribution lies in the conversations between these four fields. The development of the Living Newspaper 2.0 offers educators, theatre practitioners, and community activists an accessible template that addresses the issues affecting their communities. The template guides users from onset-to-completion in the creation of an educational, political theatre production that is rooted in the historical Living Newspaper traditions yet adapted to utilize present-day resources for production, with the goal of creating a more inclusive world.
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Theater, Performing arts, Theater history, Federal Theatre Project, Living Newspaper, Performance Studies, Political Theatre, Social Change, Theatre
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673 pages
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