Volume 20 Number 10 May 31, 2019

Musical Theater as Performative Autoethnography: A Critique of LGBTQIA+ Representation in School Curricula

Christopher Cayari
Purdue University, USA

Citation: Cayari, C. (2019). Musical Theater as Performative Autoethnography: A Critique of LGBTQIA+ Representation in School Curricula. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 20(10). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea20n10/


The complexity of identity and experiences of the researcher are explored through Spry’s (2011) performative autoethnography methodology, challenging the social and political norms that effect sexuality and gender-diverse students and the representation of LGBTQIA+ voices in school curricula. The present study uses musical theater repertoire that depicts characters that are part of the LGBTQIA+ community as a catalyst for reflection upon the researcher’s lived experiences. This multimedia performance-based research allows the reader-audience to experience the data as a narrative through a text script, recorded live performance videos, and/or mastered audio that includes prose, verse, lyrics, and monologues. Topics addressed include discovering sexuality, coming out, wrestling with faith, accepting identity, performing LGBTQIA+ musical repertoire, and working with students of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. The researcher found that performative autoethnography was a transformative and educative experience, and autoethnographic methods can be used to help marginalized people find voice and empowerment.

Visual Abstract

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