Despite educational research ‘steerage’ that directs funding and energy towards positivist approaches to research, the influences of twenty-first-century research and philosophy have supported the germination of narrative and arts-informed processes in educational research, both of which have increased exponentially over the last twenty years. Against this landscape, I discuss an academic audience’s evaluation of the use of non-traditional forms of communication to present academic research. In particular, I explore the audience’s preference for non-traditional discursive forms, their engagement with verbatim theatre as a medium for academic scholarship and their identification that specific elements of a mise-en-scène supported their cognitive and emotional experience of dramatized data. The findings further suggest that the form of academic communication – including theatre – should align with the focus and methodological approach adopted, and that an academic audience can be theatrically literate and sensitive to the impact of aesthetic communication. Therefore, an audience of scholars can be highly receptive to non-traditional forms of academic communication, including theatre, as long as they align with the focus and methodology of the research re-presented, and are presented with aesthetic dexterity.
Applied Theatre Research / Vol. 4, No. 2, pp.161-173