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Teaterrepetitionens interaktion: Professionella praktiker i ett repetitionsarbete från manus till föreställning
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2702-6900
2020 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
The interaction of a theatre rehearsal : Professional practices in a rehearsal process from script to performance (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis builds on three studies that explore a professional rehearsal process as situated interaction and as a longitudinal process. Primarily, the thesis contributes to the area of interactional linguistics, but it also seeks to contribute new knowledge to theatre studies. The empirical focus is on the participants’ interaction during the rehearsal process and how the performance develops procedurally over time. The main questions driving this research are: 1) What interactive, professional practices do the participants engage in during the rehearsal process, and in what way? 2) How is the script coordinated with other multimodal resources in the development from written text to performance?

The theory and method used for this work is multimodal interaction analysis, that is, Ethnomethodological Conversation Analysis (EMCA) developed towards multimodal analysis of verbal and non-verbal resources in communication. The data collection was carried out at Riksteatern, Sweden’s largest touring theatre, where Effekten, by Lucy Prebble (2013), had its Swedish premiere in the fall of 2015. I followed rehearsals of a selection of five scenes from the first rehearsal day to opening night. The data consist of field notes, as well as video recordings of a total of 85 hours, filmed mainly with three cameras. In addition, the data include approximately four hours of audio recordings.

The three studies focus on different practices involved in the theatrical rehearsal process. Study I follows the participants as they laminate (Goodwin 2018) eight lines in a scene where the characters are quarrelling. The aim is to document longitudinally how the actors develop, use and coordinate these and other multimodal resources in different phases of the rehearsal process. Study II focuses on one line in the script, with the aim of uncovering how the participants develop the performance by framing (Goffman 1974) various theatrical contexts in situated interactions and over time. Study III focuses on how the participants at the end of the rehearsal process create timing in transitions between rehearsed scenes by developing and using cues.

The results show that, and how, rehearsing is a longitudinal process of collaborative creativity, in which the production team together, and moment by moment, develop the performance. Multimodal resources are used in different ways at different points in the process, and there is a shared authorship behind the theatrical performance. The results challenge previous research on theatre and theatre work, in which rehearsing has often been described as an asymmetric interaction between a director and an ensemble. Linguists’ interest in theatre has mainly focused on written scripts, also when the subject has been the relationship between scripts and performances. This thesis argues that the situated and collaborative process of rehearsing should be considered in order to understand the relationship between scripts and performances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för svenska och flerspråkighet, Stockholms universitet , 2020. , p. 70
Series
Stockholm studies in Scandinavian philology, ISSN 0562-1097 ; 68
Keywords [en]
Interaction, theatre rehearsing, conversation analysis, EMCA, longitudinal CA, contextualization, timing, professional practice, institutional interaction
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179674ISBN: 978-91-7911-048-2 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7911-049-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-179674DiVA, id: diva2:1411548
Public defence
2020-04-17, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2020-03-25 Created: 2020-03-03 Last updated: 2020-03-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. To stage an overlap – The longitudinal, collaborative and embodied process of staging eight lines in a professional theatre rehearsal process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To stage an overlap – The longitudinal, collaborative and embodied process of staging eight lines in a professional theatre rehearsal process
2019 (English)In: Journal of Pragmatics, ISSN 0378-2166, E-ISSN 1879-1387, Vol. 142, p. 171-184Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The theatrical rehearsal is to date a scarcely investigated institutional setting. This longitudinal, video-ethnographic study follows two actors' work with eight lines in a quarrel scene, from the first day of rehearsals to opening night. The rehearsal is regarded as a transformation process in which the production team laminate (Goodwin, 2018) the script with multimodal resources (Mondada, 2014). The script contains conventional signs for marking overlapping and loudness, and the aim of this study is to document longitudinally how the actors develop, use and coordinate these and other multimodal resources during the rehearsal process. The analysis shows that the actors laminate the script from the first day, and that overlapping and loudness function as mutually developing resources in the performance. Also, different kinds of resources are prominent at different stages of the process: overlap and loudness first increase during the process, but decrease later, as additional embodied resources become more prominent. The transformation process is thus not a linear development. The micro-analysis also shows that the performance on opening night is an emergent interaction, that is, a process. The data and the results challenge dominant theoretical models of participation in fictional discourse.

Keywords
theatre, rehearsal, acting, longitudinal CA, multimodal resources
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-165973 (URN)10.1016/j.pragma.2019.01.015 (DOI)000466060800013 ()
Available from: 2019-02-09 Created: 2019-02-09 Last updated: 2020-03-11Bibliographically approved
2. Framing in theater rehearsals: A longitudinal study following one line from page to stage
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Framing in theater rehearsals: A longitudinal study following one line from page to stage
2020 (English)In: Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, ISSN 2040-3658, E-ISSN 2040-3666Article in journal (Other academic) In press
Abstract [en]

This video-ethnographic workplace study follows a theater rehearsal process, which to date is an under-researched professional setting. More specifically, the study investigates the process of  framing (Goffman 1974) contexts that together build up the theatrical framework (cf. MacLachlan and Reid 1994: 17). Applying a conversation analytic method, the analysis follows actors and a director longitudinally as they are framing a performance with respect to a single line in a script. The aim is to uncover how the participants develop the performance by framing various theatrical contexts in situated interactions and over time. The results show that the performance develops in a nonlinear manner, whereby social and psychological contexts are foregrounded first. These contexts are later backgrounded when the participants develop physical actions in the performance. Framing is a process of grounding (Clark 1996), in which the participants collaboratively and interactionally add content to the script, and arrive at a mutual understanding by recycling and developing previously established framings. Negotiations of framings are joint and explicit, challenging a view of theater work that actors should not be overly conscious of their actions on the stage.

Keywords
Framing, Theater, Rehearsal interaction, Longitudinal Conversation Analysis, Contextualization
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179460 (URN)
Available from: 2020-03-01 Created: 2020-03-01 Last updated: 2020-03-27
3. The timing of scene transitions in theatre rehearsals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The timing of scene transitions in theatre rehearsals
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This video-ethnographic workplace study explores how professional actors and a director at the end of a theatrical rehearsal process create timing in transitions between rehearsed scenes through the development and use of cues, that is ‘signals for action’, used in the communication between actors and between participants on and off stage. With multimodal Conversation Analysis as method, two research questions are addressed: What resources are used in what way for cueing? Who engages in what way in transitioning between scenes? The results show that cueing is a central tool for developing well-timed transitions, and that the body is a preferred resource for cueing. There is no prior plan for how to achieve timely transitions or for cueing. Cues develop collaboratively, in a format of candidate cuespecifying the cues and confirmation. The participants orient to precise cues, and the actors also create room for temporal variation through embodied actions. 

Keywords
Theater, timing, cueing, rehearsal, rehearsal interaction, multimodal interaction, EMCA
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179459 (URN)
Available from: 2020-03-01 Created: 2020-03-01 Last updated: 2020-03-11Bibliographically approved

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