Donna Tromski, Ohio University
This qualitative research study explored the performance process, the various interactions, and the experience of the “Where’s Safe?” interactive drama event from the perspective of the actors, director-facilitator, and audience. Three performances were studied using participant observation. The three actors with leading roles and the director-facilitator participated in a tape-recorded interview in which they described the development of this production, their experiences with the production, and its impact on their lives. An assistant professor at Ohio University was also interviewed for her perspective as an audience member. A general meaning structure for the performance process, interactions, and experience of the performance events was defined. Identification of salient themes reflective of good and bad performances, safety issues, the learning that takes place for the audience, the impact the experience has on actors, characters, and the facilitator director, and the use of interactive drama as an educational tool to promote social change resulted. The interaction that occurred during and immediately following the performances were cited as a critical and pivotal component by all participants in the study.