Theatre and Buddhist Storytelling: An Experiment in Supplementing the Traditional Mahachat Sung Sermon for the Benefit of a Modern Thai Audience. / Utairat, Maysa.

2019. 354 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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@phdthesis{77689d0cf13540b5b855e8948215caee,
title = "Theatre and Buddhist Storytelling: An Experiment in Supplementing the Traditional Mahachat Sung Sermon for the Benefit of a Modern Thai Audience",
abstract = "My thesis is based on my theatre practice, during which I created a theatricalpiece as part of a Theravada Buddhist storytelling event, the Mahachat sungsermon, in which Buddhist monks recite the Vessantara Jataka story, the greatgiving of Prince Vessantara, Bodhisattva, accompanied by giving rituals in atradition transmitted from pre-modern to modern Thailand. I added the elementof theatre to the old ritual. In my thesis I interrogate my theatre practice and theplace of the play: was it spiritual teaching or entertainment, and was my theatretraditional or modern? To find answers, I look at Peter Brook{\textquoteright}s distinctionbetween Holy and Rough Theatre, and the spiritual transformation in the Mahabharata; then, at Helen Nicholson{\textquoteright}s concept of a play as a gift jointly created by the theatre makers and the community; and at Marcel Mauss, who postulated that giving is an exchange stemming from self-interest. I created the play in the context of traditional and modern communities in Thailand{\textquoteright}s Northeast region during 2010-2014. The monks{\textquoteright} sung sermon and giving ritual provided a sacred moment that was adapted into the play. The performers are a medium whose outer and subtler embodiment are shared with the audience, as they abandon self-centredness to be embodied by the sacred characters and perform their own {\textquoteleft}great giving{\textquoteright} in accordance with the Vessantara character. My thesis includesphotographs and a DVD documenting the performances, and draws on extensiveinterview material.",
author = "Maysa Utairat",
year = "2019",
month = apr,
language = "English",

}

RIS

TY - THES

T1 - Theatre and Buddhist Storytelling: An Experiment in Supplementing the Traditional Mahachat Sung Sermon for the Benefit of a Modern Thai Audience

AU - Utairat, Maysa

PY - 2019/4

Y1 - 2019/4

N2 - My thesis is based on my theatre practice, during which I created a theatricalpiece as part of a Theravada Buddhist storytelling event, the Mahachat sungsermon, in which Buddhist monks recite the Vessantara Jataka story, the greatgiving of Prince Vessantara, Bodhisattva, accompanied by giving rituals in atradition transmitted from pre-modern to modern Thailand. I added the elementof theatre to the old ritual. In my thesis I interrogate my theatre practice and theplace of the play: was it spiritual teaching or entertainment, and was my theatretraditional or modern? To find answers, I look at Peter Brook’s distinctionbetween Holy and Rough Theatre, and the spiritual transformation in the Mahabharata; then, at Helen Nicholson’s concept of a play as a gift jointly created by the theatre makers and the community; and at Marcel Mauss, who postulated that giving is an exchange stemming from self-interest. I created the play in the context of traditional and modern communities in Thailand’s Northeast region during 2010-2014. The monks’ sung sermon and giving ritual provided a sacred moment that was adapted into the play. The performers are a medium whose outer and subtler embodiment are shared with the audience, as they abandon self-centredness to be embodied by the sacred characters and perform their own ‘great giving’ in accordance with the Vessantara character. My thesis includesphotographs and a DVD documenting the performances, and draws on extensiveinterview material.

AB - My thesis is based on my theatre practice, during which I created a theatricalpiece as part of a Theravada Buddhist storytelling event, the Mahachat sungsermon, in which Buddhist monks recite the Vessantara Jataka story, the greatgiving of Prince Vessantara, Bodhisattva, accompanied by giving rituals in atradition transmitted from pre-modern to modern Thailand. I added the elementof theatre to the old ritual. In my thesis I interrogate my theatre practice and theplace of the play: was it spiritual teaching or entertainment, and was my theatretraditional or modern? To find answers, I look at Peter Brook’s distinctionbetween Holy and Rough Theatre, and the spiritual transformation in the Mahabharata; then, at Helen Nicholson’s concept of a play as a gift jointly created by the theatre makers and the community; and at Marcel Mauss, who postulated that giving is an exchange stemming from self-interest. I created the play in the context of traditional and modern communities in Thailand’s Northeast region during 2010-2014. The monks’ sung sermon and giving ritual provided a sacred moment that was adapted into the play. The performers are a medium whose outer and subtler embodiment are shared with the audience, as they abandon self-centredness to be embodied by the sacred characters and perform their own ‘great giving’ in accordance with the Vessantara character. My thesis includesphotographs and a DVD documenting the performances, and draws on extensiveinterview material.

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

ER -