A touch on intimacy : building belonging for diasporic pain in participatory performances

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2019-08-12

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Chiu, I-Chia

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Abstract

Theatre, as a form of live performing art, offers a space of intimacy for the audience and the creators of the theatrical events. The audience is not only introduced to a psychological world built by the performance itself, but is also, in various degrees, invited to co-author the theatrical experiences and narratives, which for me creates the opportunities to connect human beings to one another. This thesis reviews how theatre offers moments of intimacy through my reflection on my three-year study in the MFA Playwriting Program at University of Texas at Austin. In particular, this document traces my evolving writing practices that centered on my relationship with diasporic pain, an experience of being away from homelands. I will weave in my personal experience to better understand my identity as a non-native English writer and a foreigner in the United States. I will also scrutinize my experience of diasporic pain and its connection to vulnerability, aid, reciprocation, meaning-making, memory, time, while exploring how these ideas can be delivered aesthetically in the theatre-making process and the product of the production. This document also envisions pathways towards possibilities of finding a place of belonging for other multi-lingual writers who are also away from home.

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