Exhibit A: An Application of Verbatim Theatre Dramaturgy

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Title: Exhibit A: An Application of Verbatim Theatre Dramaturgy
Authors: Moore, Melanie K.
Date: 2013
Abstract: This research-creation thesis describes and analyzes the dramaturgical methodologies of verbatim theatre – a form of documentary theatre that uses transcripts as the dominant source of its dialogue – through the practical exercise of play writing. This paper marks the theoretical component of my thesis, which analyzes both the dramaturgical process and the historical context of my play Exhibit A. Using verbatim transcripts from legal evidence for its dialogue, the play examines the psychology of two teenage boys responsible for the brutal rape and murder of an 18-year-old Canadian woman in 2010. As documentary theatre emphasizes socio-political themes, this thesis considers the dramaturgical, aesthetic, and ethical considerations of verbatim theatre through my experience as a playwright and researcher. Acknowledging both the historical antecedents of documentary theatre and its contemporary examples, this thesis will define an original typology of verbatim theatre entitled the “Subcategories of Verbatim Theatre”. These subcategories are identified as Tribunal, Literary, Historical Drama, Expository and Participatory. Each privileges different types and usages of documents, which are further defined as being primarily related to “text” or “aural” based testimony. The thesis relates the dramaturgical principles of each subcategory to artistic choices made in Exhibit A. A description of the various incarnations of verbatim and documentary theatre, as well as an analysis of my experience as a documentary playwright examines the dramatic representation of reality as highly constructed in this form of theatre where the selection and editing of a documentary play's archive is a creative process that is not dissimilar from the creation of fictional drama. In that sense, the documentary genre can be said to present a dramatic representation of the playwright's subjective version of the truth. Exhibit A thus stands as my creative reconstruction of the evidence presented in the Kimberly Proctor murder trial.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/24118
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-2991
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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