International Conference 
"Performing Arts Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theatre Design & Technology

Stephanie M. Hart at IUGTE Conference 2020

Emotional Dramaturgy: Incorporating Care of Performers in Investigating roles of Trauma and Emotional Vulnerability 
Lecture by Stephanie M. Hart PhD student of Theatre and Performance of the Americas at Arizona State University (USA).  

Stephanie has her BA and MA in Theatre/Speech with an emphasis on performance from Louisiana Tech University. She is currently finishing her dissertation in the Theatre and Performance of the Americas program at Arizona State University. Her research is based in physical theatre and she has a strong background in theatre, dance, and stage combat. Her recent engagement in Intimacy Direction has lead her to her present research on Emotional Dramaturgy.


How do we create a space for performers to explore uncomfortable emotions but not carry those feelings into their personal lives? In my work as an intimacy and violence director, a constant mantra when I am working with actors in difficult roles is that “uncomfortable is different from unsafe.” We must dramaturgically structure an environment wherein performers can safely explore these dark places, elicit emotions of characters facing difficult and/or dangerous situations, and just as importantly, dispose of these emotions and find a safe way to return to their own psychologically healthy spaces; leaving the trauma of the character in the room and not taking it home to their personal spaces. 

This lecture explores the necessity of creating what I have termed “emotional dramaturgy”, constructing pedagogical boundaries and psychological separation of performers and performance. Traditionally we have been told as performers to “just do it” whether it is a scene that requires violent language or physicality to another actor; an intense scene of physical intimacy; or one of rage, pain, or hurt. There are many writings of how to “put on” or create or elicit emotions for the stage as well as how performed emotions affect an audience. What is missing from much of the narrative is how to “take-off” the emotions and the affect of these performances on the actors. Drawing from concepts developed in directing intimacy or violence as well as theory grounded in trauma informed care and psychology we will explore ways to insure the safety of our performers.

Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse" and New International Performing Arts Institute



NIPAI logo
artuniverse logo

NIPAI Banner