Have you ever attended a play at Ohio State Mansfield? If so, you’ve witnessed a product of research. In Theatre, research can be defined in a more broad way.
“Not all research ends in publication,’” Dr. Joseph Fahey, Associate Professor of Theatre at Ohio State Mansfield, explains, “If you look at my body of work, you aren’t really looking just for an article published in a journal, but also what is mounted on the stage year after year.”
Behind the scenes, Dr. Fahey is “very invested in researching the background of the show” as well as other aspects that will allow the play to offer a more authentic experience to its audience. In this way, he is acting as a dramaturge, or a researcher for a production.
Other forms of research in Theatre affect the performance itself. Dr. Fahey credits people such as Rudolf Laban and FranciosDelsarte as influencing his approach to the way he teaches movement training, or “how actors develop characters through specific movement choices.” In addition to movement training, a current research focus for Dr. Fahey is how some psychology models, such as The Big Five Personality Traits, can be used to enhance character development and understanding for actors.
During the intermission between his productions, Dr. Fahey is also working in a collaborative effort with The Ohio Theatre Alliance, of which he is a board member, to create a “web based clearing house” that will enable theatre venues within the state of Ohio to share resources and increase potential productions.
Students, if you would like to learn the lines of research in a more broad way, send Dr. Fahey an email indicating your interest! There are no prerequisites to work with him, though Theatre 2100 is recommended.