Interviews as a methodology for performance research: Academic interviews - an invitation for discussion

Burke, Alison and Innes, Paul (2007) Interviews as a methodology for performance research: Academic interviews - an invitation for discussion. Classical Receptions in Late Twentieth Century Drama and Poetry in English Essays on Documenting and Researching Modern Productions of Greek Drama: The Sources.

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Abstract

One of the consequences of the growth of academic interest in Reception has been an increased focus on the thoughts and opinions of theatre practitioners. However, because of the ephemeral nature of theatre production and the general sparseness of production documentation, traditional methodological approaches do not generate the evidence needed for academic analysis. To fill this gap, scholars can look to the accounts of practitioners' intentions in published interviews. These interviews can take the form of either journalistic or academic interviews. In a previous discussion [Burke 2003] it has been seen that journalistic interviews are a useful but problematic source of data collection. Journalistic interviews are useful because they provide access to a restricted world, but problematic because they are circumscribed by a need for mutual promotion that arises as a consequence of the symbiotic relationship in operation between publications and productions, and interviewers and practitioners. As part of the analysis of the importance of interviews, attention now turns to the academic interview. Initially it may seem that the academic interview answers the shortfalls of the journalistic interview. On the surface it could seem as though the academic interview is the more thorough form of interview: freed from the need to promote a publication or production, the academic interview could appear to be a more scholarly, de-personalised and probing inquiry into a practitioner's intentions/motivations. Whether the researcher in Classical performance uses published interviews conducted by other academics or embarks on a field study using the academic interview model, it is important to note that the academic interview is similarly subject to a collection of limitations that need to be factored into the analysis of interview data. In the main, this article explores the strengths and weaknesses of using published academic interviews, but it is also hoped that in studying the form of the academic interview this article will also be of value for academics interested in conducting interviews for research purposes.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: A contribution to the project 'Classical Receptions in Drama and Poetry in English from c.1970 to the Present'
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR1 Literary history and criticism
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Liberal and Performance Arts > Literary and Critical Studies
Research Priority Areas: Being Human - Past, Present & Future
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 12:40
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2016 09:07
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3635

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