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Performance artists use language as their primary tool for constructing narratives, often about their own experiences. A "mystory" is a genre of writing that more accurately represents how we live the text of our lives, we do not experience the world as a completed, well-organized, thoughtfully rendered, perfectly worded, linear, flowing story. Yet we experience the world in fragments of conversations, of music, of the culture in which we are raised, of the thoughts running through our heads. As an alternative form of theatrical creation, the author creates a “mystory” and leaves the piece open to interpretation.
We perform narrative performance art pieces, from our Alternative and Experimental Theatre class. Students were asked to write and perform their own narrative performance art pieces either a disorienting narrative or a mystory. We compiled a mystory. According to Teletheory: Grammatology in the Age of Television by Ulmer (1989), a mystory is a nonlinear combination of fragments from three levels of discourse, personal, popular and expert. Each performance piece deals with a certain aspect of the student’s life as well as popular culture influences. These post-modern performances question the audience’s responses and do not allow the audience to watch passively. At certain moments there is use of strong language and potentially offensive commentaries on social norms.
Far more than mere entertainment, the art of film serves as a cultural reflection; the tales and truths intertwined throughout popular cinema serve to present the concerns, hopes and fears of a culture to an audience reluctant to address them. I speak to the cultural trends that likely served as the source of inspiration for the films, and used in films created within the last 30 years, demonstrate the manner in which the cultural audience responded. I intend to cultivate an understanding of how popular cinema serves to reinforce and modify the cares and concerns of a culture, utilizing deceivingly complex messages to influence an often-reluctant audience.
How has studying abroad shaped an American student’s perceptive of the world? Are there many differences between American and Spanish students or are there more similarities? What are the major social differences of Spanish culture and American culture for college students? After spending four months in Valencia, Spain and conducting interviews with both American and Spanish students, it was evident that both cultures benefit from the interaction and influences of the other. For this paper, culture is defined as values, beliefs, focusing more narrowly on race, ethnicity, class, religion, and other dimensions of culture. Through video, this research shows the experiences and beliefs of students and the importance of studying abroad. Students from around the United States, studying in Valencia experienced the rich Spanish culture.
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