- Supplemental 1 Author Introduction
- Supplemental 4: Puppet Building
*All five supplemental video files are available for download at the bottom of this page.
Jessica Litwak, Ph.D. is a 2015 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
L-R : Dr. Carolyn Kenny, Dissertation Chair, Dr. Jessica Litwak at her Dissertation Defense, May 2015
- Carolyn Kenny, Ph.D. - Dissertation Chair
- Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D. - Committee Member
- D. Soyini Madison, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Dara Culhane, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston, Ph.D. - External Reader
This dissertation is accompanied by five MP4 video Supplemental Files.
theater; theatre; drama therapy; applied theater; history;Middle East; Muslims; Jews; poetry; social change; arts; performance ethnography; autoethnography; performative writing; arts-based research; playwriting; HEAT Collective;
This study addresses the research question “How Do I Inspire Personal and Social Change Through My Theater Practice?” I implement the theory and practice of H.E.A.T., a fusion theater system, combining use of theater arts as healing practice, educational asset, activist tool, and an art form.I research different ways that theater can affect change, focusing specifically on the use of history in performance.I dramatically interpret a period of history where performance and poetry contributed to change.I utilize qualitative methods including performance ethnography, auto ethnography, arts-based research, and historical research.I describe the fieldwork in conflict zones in the Middle East, which led to the scripting of a full-length play, and the presentation of the play, which included discussion groups and audience participation through post-show events.The dissertation is a bricolage, combining scholarly chapters, performative writing, and scripted theater.The work explores ways of employing theater as a change agent by using history as an inspiration.In the city of Cordoba, Spain, in the 10th and 11th century Muslims and Jews lived in a state of relative peace.Looking at medieval Cordoba I explore the Judeo-Arabic poetry of the time, asking:Can what happened in Cordoba be a model for performance and peacebuilding?Based on historical research, the Judeo-Arabic poetry of ancient Al-Andalusia, and the theory of performative peacebuilding, the dramatically scripted section of the dissertation will take place in two realms:Present-day conflict zones in the Middle East; and medieval Cordoba where two ancient characters convey a story of coexistence through poetic expression.In three decades of working as a theater artist, I have come to believe that my work must be dedicated to facilitating change.The sacred and ancient art of theater needs to be meaningful to 21st-century life so that we can use it to awaken, heal, educate and repair the world.This dissertation is accompanied by five supplemental MP4 video files.This Dissertation is available in open access at AURA:Antioch University Repository and Archive http://aura.antioch.edu/ and Ohiolink ETD Center https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Litwak, J. (2015). My Heart is in the East: Exploring Theater as a Vehicle for Change, Inspired by the Poetic Performances of Ancient Andalucía. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/207
Supplement 1: Author Introduction Litwak Dissertation Video
Supplement_2_Field_Work_Video.mp4 (15031 kB)
Supplement 2: Field Work Video
Supplement_3_Puppets_Video.mp4 (4541 kB)
Supplement 3: Puppets Video
Supplement_4_Puppet_Building_Video.mp4 (7402 kB)
Supplement 4: Puppet Building Video
Supplement_5_Performance_Event_Video.mp4 (3769 kB)
Supplement 5: Performance Event
Jewish Studies Commons, Leadership Studies Commons, Medieval Studies Commons, Near and Middle Eastern Studies Commons, Peace and Conflict Studies Commons, Performance Studies Commons, Playwriting Commons, Psychology Commons