Translating research findings into community based theatre: more than a dead man's wife

Susan Ellen Feldman, Alan Hopgood, Marissa Louise Dickins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Increasingly, qualitative scholars in health and social sciences are turning to innovative strategies as a way of translating research findings into informative, accessible and enjoyable forms for the community. The aim of this article is to describe how the research findings of a doctoral thesis - a narrative study about 58 older women s experiences of widowhood - were translated into a unique and professionally developed script to form the basis for a successful theatrical production that has travelled extensively within Australia. This article reports on the process of collaboration between a researcher, a highly regarded Australian actor/script writer and an ensemble of well-known and experienced professional actors. Together the collaborating partners translated the research data and findings about growing older and widowhood into a high quality theatre production. In particular, we argue in this paper that research-based theatre is an appropriate medium for communicating research findings about important life issues of concern to older people in a safe, affirming and entertaining manner. By outlining the process of translating research findings into theatre we hope to show that there is a real value in this translation approach for both researcher and audience alike.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476 - 486
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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