Richard Finn's Confirmation Presentation

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Richard Finn's Confirmation Presentation

We invite you to attend the Confirmation Presentation of Richard Finn, a Doctor of Creative Arts candidate within the School of Communication and Creative Industries, in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.

Title: ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll’ – Three Science Fiction Plays (rudely disrupted by children)

Presenter: Richard Finn

When: Monday 16 April from 10am-12noon

Where: Building E, EG.20

Abstract: The research explores the question: How can Science Fiction Theatre explore what it means to be a parent by boldly going where no Science Fiction Theatre has gone before:  the creation, formation and cultivation of a child?

The exegesis explores and documents the use of cognitive estrangement in Science Fiction Literature, Film and Theatre, and focuses on the three fields of sexuality, fertility/reproduction, and child-rearing –  here referred to as ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll’ - in the development of a trilogy of Science Fiction Theatre scripts. The project has strong links with my recent experience of becoming a father for the first time, a primary carer and my personal and professional interests in Science Fiction, and in writing for Theatre.

Science Fiction extrapolation allows writers to focus not on the way things are (or were), but on the presentation of an alternate reality. Darko Suvin describes this characteristic of Science Fiction as ‘cognitive estrangement’, or ‘the recognition that what we are reading or viewing is not the world as we know it, but a world whose change forces us to reconsider our own with an outsider's perspective’ (Suvin 1979: 317). For this reason, the technique of cognitive estrangement can challenge readers to reconsider their sexual or cultural assumptions, and Science Fiction Theatre holds great promise as a way to explore and reconsider what it is to be a parent. However, the area of child rearing, an essential part of how we become a parent is largely ignored in Science Fiction works and is an area currently unexplored in Science Fiction Theatre scripts.

My creative artefact ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll – Three Science Fiction Plays (rudely disrupted by children).’ seeks to fill this gap in Science Fiction Theatre. The major aims of this project are, across three science fiction play scripts, to: firstly, investigate the dramatic possibilities of conception; secondly, explore the turmoil of fertility; and thirdly delve into the great theatrical promise of staged child-rearing. Using a practice-led methodology, this exegesis documents and examines my creative process of developing and writing the three scripts. The exegesis will incorporate my own narrative as a Science-Fiction fan, playwright and a primary-carer parent creating work. Between nappy changes.

Bio: Richard Finn was the Programme Director of WhitireiaNZ’s Stage and Screen Arts course until 2016, when he decided to take leave to enjoy a mid-life crisis. He has worked for many years as a professional theatre director, and more recently as a script-writer, gaining his M.A. in Creative Writing in 2010. He is a passionate believer in the power of performing arts as a training medium, and collaboration as an educational process. In 2017 he became a father for the first time and shares his primary-care-giver time with working on his Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.

Should you have any questions about this event please contact FABHDR@usc.edu.au.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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