‘Speak at this’: An approach to the completion of speech acts during interactive Shakespeare performances in schools

BELL, Henry (2018). ‘Speak at this’: An approach to the completion of speech acts during interactive Shakespeare performances in schools. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 9 (2).

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Abstract

It is 2014 in a secondary school in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. A performance of Romeo and Juliet is taking place in the school hall. An audience of teenagers are sitting on plastic blue chairs arranged in-the-round. During the ‘balcony scene’ the performer playing Romeo asks a member of the audience, ‘Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?’, this audience member urges him to ‘hear more’. This article interrogates this moment in performance, the process that was required to achieve it and the validity of it as a successfully completed Speech Act. Speech Act Theory has been used as a valuable method for Shakespearean textual analysis but this article investigates the merits of its application as a rehearsal technique: What training methods augment the performative nature of audience address? How can current theoretical concerns in audience studies temper the application of Speech Act Theory in this context to provide an open and interactive Shakespeare performance atmosphere for young people? In order to address these questions, the argument will draw upon media and data from a large scale PaR project based produced by Hull University and the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Yorkshire in 2014.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Shakespeare. Speech Act . Romeo and Juliet. Actor Training. Shakespeare in Schools .
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Humanities Research Centre
Departments: Development and Society > Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Henry Bell
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 10:58
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2018 12:28
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19104

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