Playing with the Kersley Players : contemporary folk drama in a British Columbia community a thesis in five acts

Grant Jørgensen, Jessica (2010) Playing with the Kersley Players : contemporary folk drama in a British Columbia community a thesis in five acts. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This dissertation is an ethnographic analysis of the community, as accessed by its theatrical play form, examining the amateur community theatre troupe, the Kersley Players, of Kersley, British Columbia. In short, I set out to document and analyze, so fully as possible, a contemporary, original, grassroots theatre and its context. This is especially significant considering that much prior folk drama scholarship has tended to focus on the text-centric documentation of vestigial traditional and/or religious forms to the general neglect of the emergent and the contextual. Further, by situating the field of research in the West, this doctoral thesis addresses the underrepresentation of British Columbia in Canadian folklore studies. -- To contextualize this emergent, vernacular theatre, this dissertation roots the plays and the Players in their community, analyzes the significance of the plays as texts and investigates the dynamics of enactment. Since plays do not write themselves nor do they form or perform in a vacuum, it is apparent that they reflect a place-its people, history, culture, sensibilities and values-and I provide an historical and contemporary understanding of the area in which these Kersley Player plays have developed and found form, not forgetting the fertile setting of the playwright himself, Roy Teed. Indeed, this is an area indelibly marked by its frontier placement and the consequent boom 'n' bust development of rapacious colonial economics with its alienated workforce. Considering this setting, the plays' generic, textual form, namely, farce, and all the thematic elements and characteristics of a so-called "Roy play," are especially significant, since-through their hyperbolic mirroring of the daily mechanization and routinization of an alienated working class-they cathartically release those fun-seeking workers. Pulling the spatial and textual contexts together, I finally assess the enacted reality of the plays' playground, looking at the physical and theoretical grounds upon which this play takes place, joining the Players themselves for the performative process and exploring the conflicting audience-performer dialectic over the years, a tense tug of war spurred on as the Players have increasingly moved beyond their roots.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9576
Item ID: 9576
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 409-431.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--British Columbia--Kersley
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Teed, Roy; Kersley Players; Folk drama, English--British Columbia--Kersley; Working class--British Columbia--Kersley--Folklore; Kersley (B.C.)--Folklore

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