General:Mapping Theatrical Relationships



User Story Creator Identification

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Name: D.A. Hadfield


Tell us something about your level of study and the type of institutional appointment you hold. 
Choose any of the terms below that apply to you:
* undergrad
* grad
* part-time instructor
* pre-tenure faculty member
* tenured faculty member
* archivist-librarian
* independent scholar
* creative practitioner
* interested citizen

Role: part-time instructor

Institution: University of Guelph

Field of Study/Creative Endeavor: theatre historiography, literary production, contemporary Canadian & 19th C British feminist theatre


Please write a paragraph about your persona as a researcher: your position, your discipline, your general research interests, 
and the extent to which you use computers in your research. 
You may wish to mention particular tools that you use with some regularity.

I am a sessional instructor at University of Guelph and St. Jerome's University (Waterloo), where I've taught pretty much everything from the medieval lyric to contemporary drama. My main research focus is in theatre historiography, especially feminist theatre. In practical terms, I'm interested in investigating the material conditions in which theatre is produced, and what effect they have both on the production of the theatrical event itself and on the way it is subsequently preserved and valued. On frequent occasions, this net has widened to consider non-theatrical literary production as well.


Please provide a short description of the larger project from which this story emerges.

This project returns to and builds on earlier research into the material conditions of production in Canadian feminist theatre. In that research, I focussed on the “textual residues” that were created and remained to shape a particular type of historical visibility and representation of those productions. While I briefly glanced at the issue of personal relationships among the theatre workers, that remained more tangential because it was too difficult to identify and track. However, it’s no secret that theatrical production is a highly networked cultural practice, where knowing “the right people” can mean the difference between success and constant struggle.

Canadian women playwrights, in fact, have often written about the existence of the “old boys’ club” that governed theatrical production and effectively disenfranchised them. I’d like to see whether this perception is, in fact, accurate, and additionally, whether women playwrights have developed an “old girls’ club” to counteract it.


This research requires a repository of information, not just about the women’s plays, but about their theatrical production as well. This production information includes theatre companies, venues, directors, cast members, corporate sponsors, etc. I want to be able to visualize whether there are any “clusters” of relationships that appear, ie whether production opportunities for women playwrights in general, or specific playwrights, or particular types of plays increase in the proximity of specific directors, actors, or other theatre workers. I also want to see what types of plays attract what types of sponsorship or financial investment, which is a useful indicator of how “safe” the play is perceived to be. I’d also like to be able to access reviews of the productions, to see how the play was received, and specifically who is credited or blamed for the perceived “quality” of the product, as well as the terms on which that quality is constructed. The necessary steps:

  • create an online performance calendar for Canadian women's productions
  • create and/or link to databases containing biographical information about women playwrights that tags the people in their social network

How broadly do the practices described in this story apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?
* broadly applicable
* shared by some
* shared by few or none

Scope: These practices would be shared by anyone with a materialist focus in theatre history.

Does your story describe current research activities that you think CWRC will enhance (present), 
or future research possibilities that you can only dream of now? (future)

Timeline: Some of this research (eg. parts of building the timeline) can already be done by Orlando; other aspects (identifying production details, linking to external materials) can as yet only be dreamed of.

Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories. 
Use as many of the ones listed below as relevant or provide your own.
* Aggregate
* Annotate
* Consider
* Discover
* Interact
* Publish
* Archive/Preserve
* Share
* Visualize
* Map
* Historicize
* Edit
* Network
* Collaborate
* Integrated History of Women's Writing in Canada
* Orlando

Keywords: Aggregate, Consider, Discover, Archive/Preserve, Visualize, Map, Historicize

Are there parts of the story that relate to other CWRC stories? 
Please provide title(s) and link to the relevant story page.

Related Stories: Story:VisualizingSocialNetworks

Are there tools that do some of the sorts of things you'd like to see in CWRC? 
If so, what are they?

Related Tools: Internet Archive