'Disintegration, focalisation and the politics of mega-identity in the performances of Marie Jones’s "A Night in November" and Anna Deavere Smith's "Let Me Down Easy"’

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Abstract

In this paper, I explore how the figures of the storyworld can be presented, by examining the performance strategies in Anna Deavere Smith's "Lay Me Down Easy" and in Marie Jones’s "Stones in his Pockets". As Birch observes, ‘Through verbal and nonverbal clues, effective storytellers bring out the nuances, both large and small, which delineate the characters within the story ’ (1996: 119). Such strategies of characterisation are fundamentally metonymic in storytelling. However, the choice of specific details to depict a character may draw on characteristics associated with specific social groups, invoking issues of identity and power. The sense in which characterisation is then dependent not just on the performance strategies but on the ways in which these are read by the spectator becomes an important issue in understanding what is at stake when a teller represents someone from a group other than her own.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherInternational Society for the Study of Narrative
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
EventInternational Society for the Study of Narrative Annual Conference, - Manchester Metropolitan University
Duration: 1 Jun 2013 → …

Conference

ConferenceInternational Society for the Study of Narrative Annual Conference,
Period1/06/13 → …

Keywords

  • narrative
  • storytelling theatre
  • contemporary performance

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