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Title:Intimacy Direction: A New Role in Contemporary Theatre Making
Author(s):Steinrock, Jessica Renae
Director of Research:Robinson, Valleri
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Robinson, Valleri
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Nguyen, Mimi; Jones, K. Jenny; Stevens, Andrea
Department / Program:Theatre
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Intimacy Direction
Intimacy Coordination
Theatrical Intimacy
Live Performance
Abstract:Intimacy direction is a radical new vision for the performing arts, calling all practitioners to implement consent as a creative practice. Methods for staging intimacy have shifted over time to match changing cultural beliefs, staging techniques, and performance styles. Despite this, there has been limited research regarding contemporary best practices for crafting these stories. In 2016, Intimacy Directors International became the first organization to collate and codify intimacy methodologies and actively advocate for the intimacy director's collaborative yet distinct role. In the wake of the #metoo movement, which went viral in 2017, the demand for intimacy direction has grown exponentially, due primarily to the role's ability to alter dangerous and coercive power structures. This position utilizes a three-pronged approach of advocacy, choreographic expertise, and remodeled protocols and policies to facilitate safe and effective intimate storytelling. It uses a framework that prioritizes an individual's agency and values process over product. The sustainability of this discipline depends on creating an accessible and consistent body of knowledge for practitioners. This dissertation synthesizes multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks with the real-time experiential data collected by my professional colleagues and me, working on this industry's front-lines to support the widespread implementation of intimacy direction. Additionally, I argue that while intimacy direction is designed explicitly for intimate scenes (namely those involving nudity or simulated sex), its core concepts can act as a model for other disciplines to re-define their relationship to power, inclusion, and sustainability.
Issue Date:2020-12-02
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Jessica Renae Steinrock
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12

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