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Rajendran, C. (2020). Becoming a FaciliActor: Playing at fiction on the borderlines of culture. Applied Theatre Research, 8(2), 245-257. https://doi.org/10.1386/atr_00041_1
This article interrogates the idea of the drama educator as a FaciliActor within the sociocultural and political context of Singapore, drawing on Jacques Ranciere’s (2015) notions of fiction and dissensus to examine how the FaciliActor can expand the potential of play-based embodied learning. The term FaciliActor, coined to combine facilitator and actor capacities, and thereby emphasize the acting skills involved in facilitating a dynamic drama process, points to imaginative options that drama educators negotiate when planning and executing their roles. In particular, it highlights an educator’s ability to play with experimental options and trust the ingenuity of imagination that prods a review of what is. This includes having theatrical presence, which commands attention and invites response. Given the escalating tensions of cultural difference in plural societies, the growing need for dialogic pedagogies that develop twenty-first century competencies such as critical thinking, empathy and self-awareness points to the FaciliActor as well placed to do this through play-based and creative frameworks that allow multiple perspectives. I consider how the FaciliActor can expand dialogic options for participants when creating and facilitating a drama process, and suggest that it is useful to engage with an ‘actor’s dramaturgy’ (Barba 2010) to gain critical skills when performing.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Applied Theatre Research. The published version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1386/atr_00041_1
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