How can performance prevent rape?

On-stage performance can help us reimagine what we take for granted. This blog looks at how performance can explore different ways to be a woman or a man, and negotiate relationships that are flexible, fun, and freeing.

I suggest that performance can be used as a tool in rape prevention. I look at how performative methods of rape prevention may build upon and develop other forms of social education that work to end rape, creating possibilites for different ways to engage in intimate relationships.

This blog is a personal, theoretical, and performative exploration of how performance can be used in rape prevention.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Differences Between Applied Theatre and Explicit Body Performance

As my research looks at ways that applied theatre and explicit body performance may speak to each other, it is worth starting by looking at how they differ.

I suggest that methods of applied theatre, together with those of explicit body performance, may transform the script of rape. Traditionally these styles are considered to have nothing in common. In fact, theatre-types mark them as distinctly different. I on the other hand, believe they have something to offer each other.

Firstly though, it is worth exploring DIFFERENCES between these performative forms.

Characteristics of Applied Theatre

  • The community is at the centre of performance enquiry
  • Determines community needs through focus groups, community leaders, writing scripts, and determines themes with community
  • Works to develop self-esteem, community-cohesion, education and empowerment
  • May be termed an ‘intervention’ because it intervenes in a problem that is recognised by the community, NGO or government organisations
  • Teaches performance skills as well as doing issue-based work
  • Makes the community or issue explicit
  • May draw upon traditional theatre styles, characters, and scripts; yet may also subvert these very structures
  • Often draws upon folk art

Characteristics of Explicit Body Performance

  • The artist/performer is at the centre of performance enquiry
  • The artist reflects on society and uses their body as a magnifying glass to reflect spectators back to themselves
  • Aims to awaken awe, wonder, and critical reflection in spectators
  • Works to ‘summon the ghosts’ of gender disparity, allowing spectators to re-examine and alter the way they ‘do’ gender/s
  • Subverts traditional theatre styles and characters. May use ‘performance outlines’ rather than ‘scripts’
  • Makes the body of the artist explicit
  • Often works across several artistic mediums

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dear Greg Evans, I'm trying to learn how to love

Dear Greg Evans,

I'm trying to learn how to love. I thought you might know? You seemed to get it right so often in the 80's.

I don't think I'm doing it properly. I never got taught how to love. Or maybe I just forgot. Is that possible? I never used to feel unloving, it's just that lately, I've thought about it a lot cos I think I used to get it wrong. Like love the wrong people. Or in the wrong ways. Or maybe I was the wrong person? Like, maybe I just don't know how to love.

To make it more clear, this is what I think of as to be loving:
  1. really try to listen, even if they say stupid things
  2. work with this person as part of a team - understand that you are woven together through your love
  3. be really really honest, even if it's embarrassing
  4. make them feel a bit special sometimes by treating them like a princess
  5. even if they're a cow sometimes, let them get away with it

But Greg - this isn't working. My track record is pretty bad. We always end up hating each other in the end. And now, well I think I have the chance to love again - but better.

Could you more clearly outline love for me?

Thank you in anticipation,

Aurora Murphy

PS - I have also been reading Romeo and Juliet and The New Faber Book of Love Poems. They however, seem to have it as arse-up as me.

I'm bringing my bed onto the street

Remember John and Yoko and their media interviews from bed - well I'm doing it too!

However, I am briging my bed out and onto the street to chat with people. Here's me doing a media interview with the Messenger from my bed in Victoria Square, Adelaide.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Intimacy Online?

I started Chat Room with the assumption that virtual worlds drive us apart. That a world so technologically-driven as ours leads to lower degrees of intimacy between us. We are too afraid to actually chat with someone face-to-face, so we so we go onto chatrooms and meet people virtually.

But now that I have found intimacy online my performance is somewhat different. It's so nostalgic to believe that the internet is a social evil.

I think it's fantastic.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chat Room Research - Public dancing

Today I popped on a wig and my disco outfit and danced to Whitney Housten's I Wanna Dance With Somebody in Marion Shopping Centre. Check out my shameless display of public dancing.

I am researching for Chat Room, and looking for ways to create moments of intimacy and joy in busy and disconnected public spaces.

Check out me getting kicked out of the mall!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"I am a victim of a terrible crime"

'I am a victim of a terrible crime'

I spoke these words in front of a group of people, strangers in a drama therapy workshop, because this man here, David Read-Johnson, asked me to.

I wasn't acting. I meant it. The words were like thorns in my mouth, and tumbled out with blood and tears.

Everyone said it. Some people described their crimes in a language only they could understand. My body spoke in a language only it could understand. I cried so much! I wasn't prepared. I went to his workshop as a therapist, not a client.

  1. Why was it so painful to say this?
  2. Was the pain in the speaking, or the being heard?

Chat Room - Staying Safe in Bed

Soon I will be going out in my pyjamas, taking my bed into busy public spaces, and inviting people into it.

Do you think that's provocative?

I just wanna talk. About intimacy. And play. Playfully. I don't wanna be treated like a travelling sex worker.

How do I keep myself safe, but create dangerous performance that has the ability to transform?

  1. Don't wear pyjamas. They're see-through.
  2. Don't talk to drunk people. They won't remember anyway.
  3. Have some rules, like 'Don't embarrass yourself, you're on camera'.

Any other ideas....??