Steve High's blog
What Can “Oral History” Teach Us?
[This blog was first published as a short paper on the ActiveHistory.ca website earlier this month]
From ‘Interviewee’ to ‘Character’ – A Reflection on Language and Discipline (blog 6)
From Transcript to Script (blog 5)
“The collection of transcribed interviews is the raw material and the art lies in the imaginative structuring, editing, sifting, and shaping of this material into a coherent and performable script.”
- Pam Schweitzer, Reminiscence Theatre, p 46.
“Making Rainbows”: David Fennario as Neighbourhood Storyteller (Blog 4)
What does performance offer oral historians and vice versa?
One of the questions that I have been asking myself in recent weeks is how I might integrate what we are learning in the “Oral history and performance” studio-seminar into my own practice as an oral historian? In my case, this is a difficult question. I am not an actor. Nor am I a playwright. How then might I usefully contribute to the staging of oral histories? And, conversely, how might performing these stories contribute to my interpretation of the interviews themselves?
FROM ORAL HISTORY TO VERBATUM THEATRE: A REFLECTION
“Verbatim Theatre is a form of theatre which places interviews with people at the heart of the process and product, since such interviews provide a foundation from which a script is developed that is then performed by actors.” Deirdre Heddon, 2009, p. 115.
“Documentary theatre has always been heavily context-based, and so tends to come to the fore in troubled times.” - Derek Paget (2010).
As part of my contribution to our continuing exploration of “oral history and performance” this term, I thought that I would write a series of reflections and post them in basecamp. These will, I hope, also serve as the building blocks of a (very) short article that I want to write for a special issue of alt.theatre on the Montreal Life Stories Project, being edited by Ted Little.
Oral History and Performance I: Origins
Now that the school term is over, I wanted to write down my thoughts about the international colloquium that we organized in February on the theme of “SHARING AUTHORITY: Building Community-University Alliances through Oral History, Digital Storytelling and Collaboration.” We had an amazing response to our “Call for Papers” from folks across Canada, the United States as well as France, Brazil and Australia. The full programme can be found on the conference web site at http://storytelling.concordia.ca/sharingauthority/. The CURA project was well represented.
I wanted to thank Josias, Callixte, Lisa and the other members of the Great Lakes Working Group for organizing what was a tremendously important 3 day colloque on Testimony and the Rwandan Genocide. I cannot begin to tell you how much I learned over the course of the three days.