Dirk J Rodricks: Diasporic Intimacy in/through/with an Applied Theatre Methodology: Tensions and Possibilities for Queer Desi/South Asians

Reflecting on the 20 hours of applied theatre practices that anchored his mixed methods doctoral research, Dirk suggest that the temporal cultivated relationality constituted a form of diasporic intimacy among a diverse group of queer Desi/South Asians.

The notion of intimacy is connected to home and a diasporic intimacy, according to Boym (1998), is one that is not opposed to uprootedness and defamiliarization but rather is constituted by it. Reflecting on the 20 hours of applied theatre practices that anchored my mixed methods doctoral research, I suggest that the temporal cultivated relationality constituted a form of diasporic intimacy among a diverse group of queer Desi/South Asians. Such an intimacy allows individuals to journey through the circuits of diaspora to a time and place; to memories that at once may anchor and harm. By mapping these circuits and sharing stories, I use examples from the drama data to argue that such temporal diasporic intimacy offers the potential to evoke a “spidering effect” that may productively engage the messiness of multiply marginalized identities, recognize and cultivate solidarities, and foster a transgressive sensibility with community cultural wealth.

Dirk J. Rodricks:
Queer/khush Desi with ancestors from the southern part of India. A PhD Candidate in Critical Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto), Dirk is completing his dissertation under the supervision of Distinguished Professor Dr. Kathleen Gallagher. He also holds a BA (magna cum laude) in Theatre and a MEd in Higher Education from the University of Vermont. Dirk has co-authored a monograph on critical race theory, contributed chapters to edited volumes on postsecondary campus ecologies, critical youth pedagogies, and creativity education, and has published with RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance and Youth Theatre Journal. His forthcoming work can be seen in Qualitative Inquiry and the International Journal for Qualitative Studies in Education and he is co-editing the upcoming RiDE issue: On Access in Applied Theatre and Drama Education (Vol. 23, Issue 3). Committed to learning across difference and doing de/colonial applied drama research with his ethno-racial and queer communities, Dirk is grateful for the opportunity to be a visitor to this land.

Tegan Arazny (Facilitator & Documenter)
Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that engages young people in contemporary social issues. Tegan has also collaborated and performed with award-winning theatre company PuppetSoup to deliver puppetry workshops and tour their new bilingual show, ‘Arthur the Bear King’, to rural and socially deprived areas of Wales. Tegan is currently working with The Blue Datto Foundation as a Project Coordinator to expand and develop their interactive road safety education program to young people and communities throughout New South Wales, Australia.