Dr Paul Dwyer
BA Hons, PhD (Sydney); DEA (Paris 8)
On leave Semester 2 2010
Room S108A Woolley Building
+61 2 9351 6850
After almost a decade of professional theatre work, mostly as an actor, animateur, director or dramaturg in the field of youth/community theatre, I returned to University study in the mid-1990s, gaining a Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies in Theatre Studies from the University of Paris (8) and a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of Sydney.
My doctoral research focused on various modifications of, and continuing challenges to, the theory and practice of Augusto Boal's 'Theatre of the oppressed'. I am now just embarking on research into the performative aspects of 'restorative justice' and various kinds of reconciliation ceremony.
- Performance analysis
- Performance and social change
- Restorative justice
- Evaluating "Legal Theatre"
A report (co-authored with Jaclyn Booton) into the efficacy of a Boal-based forum theatre approach to Community Legal Education. Commissioned by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW.
- Place and Performance
As a contribution to Contested Ground, a publication arising from the Department's ongoing research seminar on "Place and Performance" (to be edited by Gay McAuley for P.I.E. Lang Press), I am working on an analysis of performative elements in public protest movements, including the 'Aboriginal Tent Embassy' in Canberra (1972-present).
- Restorative justice and/as performance
An ethnographic project looking at performative behaviours in various models of restorative justice "conferencing". The research will involve field observations of victim-offender meetings in the NSW Juvenile Justice system and in the villages of Bougainville (PNG).
(Forthcoming) "Theoria Negativa: Making Sense of Boal's Reading of Aristotle" Article to appear in Modern Drama, Vol. 48, No. 4 (Winter), 2005.
With Cohen, Michael and Laura Ginters. (Forthcoming) "Performing 'Sorry Business': Reconciliation and Redressive Action" Book chapter to appear in Victor Turner and Cultural Performance edited by Graham St. John. New York: Berghahn Press.
2004 "Making Bodies Talk in Forum Theatre" in Research in Drama Education Vol. 9, No. 2 (September): pp. 199-210.
2004 "Augusto Boal and The Woman in Lima: A Poetic Encounter" in New Theatre Quarterly Vol. 20, No. 2 (May): pp. 155-163.
2003 "L'Australie de nos rêves: l'histoire du theâtre et la recherche d'une identite nationale" Coulisses, No. 28 (Mai): pp. 98-106.
I currently teach units on performance analysis, performance and its relation to social/political struggle, contemporary "postmodern" performance and ethnographic approaches to the study of rehearsal.
- Aspects of theatre architecture
- Theatre design
- Site-specific performance
- New media art
- Community cultural development
In addition to supervising prospective students in any of the areas listed above, I am interested in a number of 'applied theatre' topics (drama/theatre in education, theatre and therapy, performative aspects of various legal processes etc.) and in work that might cross the disciplines of linguistics and performance studies (eg. 'multi-modal' discourse analysis; translation studies etc.).
- "Performance/Ethnography: The Bougainville Photoplay Project". A 'performed paper' presented at the Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA), Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, July 2005.
- "In pursuit of 'best praxis'". Contribution to a panel on "Searching for an appropriate research and evaluation methodology", Education and Social Action Conference, Centre for Popular Education, University of Technology Sydney, December 2004.
- "Political Theatre in the Age of Transcendental Capitalism". Paper delivered at the 10th Performance Studies international (Psi) Conference, Singapore Management University, Singapore, June 2004.
- "What changes theatre? What can theatre change? Taking a long term view". Paper delivered as part of a panel on "Popular Theatre, Theory and Traditions", Centre for Popular Education Summer School, University of Technology Sydney, December 2002.
- "Performing Sorry Business: The Politics of Remembering" Paper delivered at the 14th World Congress of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR/FIRT), Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, July 2002.
- "Making Bodies Talk in Forum Theatre". Paper delivered at the Annual Conference of the IFTR/FIRT, University of NSW, Sydney, July 2001.
- "MüllerMaterial: A Foreign Agent Loose on the Fatal Shore". Paper delivered at the 7th PSi Conference, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, March 2001.
- "Modelling 'Appropriate' Behaviour: The Politics of Theatre in Education". Paper delivered at the Conference "Scaffolding Language and Learning in Educational Contexts", Centre for Language and Literacy, University of Technology Sydney, December 2000.
- "From Speed Street to High Street, by Tram, Train or Bus". Paper delivered at the Annual Conference of ADSA, University of Newcastle, July 2000.
Dramaturgy credits include recent productions by the company version 1.0, including CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident), presented at Performance Space, Sydney, and at the Street Theatre, Canberra, in 2004, as well as The Wages of Spin (Sydney and Canberra seasons 2005, national tour scheduled for 2006).
Professional theatre credits during the last 15 years include over 20 productions, working as an actor, animateur or director/dramaturg, with Urban Theatre Projects, Public Works Theatre, Freewheels T.I.E., Shopfront Theatre for Young People, PACT and Murray River Performing Group.