Elinor Vettraino: Navigating the self: a journey through the process of researching embodied reflexivity through dramatic storying

Based on Vettraino's doctoral research, this paper invites exploration of the concept of reflexing in the moment of embodied story creating/telling/ listening as a shared, physical experience.

In moments of transition, stories are often told and enacted in order to enable smooth passage between experiences (Gersie, 1997). Metaphorical or analogical bootstrapping occurs as we seek to link one unknown or unfamiliar moment to another (Gentner, 2010). In a similar vein, Boal’s (1995) concept of metaxic action takes place in the space between experiences, potentially within multiple stories told in order to move the individual across aesthetic and emotional distance, from where they were before that reflexive moment, to where they need to be. Based on my doctoral research, this paper invites exploration of the concept of reflexing in the moment of embodied story creating/telling/ listening as a shared, physical experience. Through collective experience, individual’s sense of self is altered, changed and sometimes transformed. This paper explores the sometimes stormy journey through the embodied storying process for me as researcher/participant, questioning my shifting perspectives on my own practice.

Elinor Vettraino:
Currently heading up the business and enterprise area at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, England, Elinor has worked extensively with applied theatre processes, recently using storytelling as a method of reflective practice processing with education professionals and leaders. Her most recent book “Playing in a House of Mirrors: Applied Theatre as Reflective Practice” co-edited with Dr Warren Linds, was stimulated by her doctoral research into the 6-Part-Story Method. Current areas of interest for Elinor focus on building on the embodied reflexivity work she developed in her doctoral research, and considering how emotions impact on the facilitators of learning experiences; in particular those using coaching as a model of education delivery.

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.