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 promotes Young People’s expression and engagement through Puppetry and Theatre practices. As well as collaborating and performing with ERTH Visual & Physical Inc and Welsh theatre company PuppetSoup, she has co-directed and worked alongside Shop Front Arts Co-Op Junior Ensemble of 8-14-year old’s to create the original devised production, The Unknown. Tegan is currently working as Teaching Artist for Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘School Drama’. This is a Teachers Professional Development Program designed to improve teaching and learning by modelling the use of drama-based strategies with quality children's literature.