Review: Johnny Saldaña (2005). Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre

June Rabson Hare


Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre is an anthology of ethnodramatic and auto-ethnodramatic texts, comprising playscripts, performance work and creative non-fiction. There are nine exemplars illustrating monologues, monologues with dialogue and what the editor calls "ethnodramatic extensions." The editor and compiler of this collection is Johnny SALDAÑA, a Professor of Theatre at Arizona State University and also a qualitative researcher with experience of both traditional re-presentation of data as well as ethnodramatic work. His excellent introduction and the introductions to and commentaries which accompany each section are rich sources of information on the history and theoretical principles underlying ethnodrama and ethnotheatre, as well as the more functional nuts and bolts of transforming narrative data to the stage. There are numerous citations of other examples in the field and notations which provide illuminative material. The book makes a contribution to the wider field of performative social science and ethnographic studies as well as to arts-based and drama-based qualitative research. It is a welcome addition to teaching and research resources in the field. This review describes the book and looks at some of the salient issues. For example, when is ethnodrama considered an appropriate medium for representation; is there a difference between aesthetic and research validity; who "owns" the research; and, can liberties be taken with the original research participant's words when building a drama?
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs080216


ethnodrama; ethnotheatre; performative mode; dramatizing data; aesthetics; ethics

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Copyright (c) 2008 June Rabson Hare

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