Through a Glass Brightly: Generative Ethical Tensions in Research-Based Theatre

Amir Michalovich, Yael Mayer, Laen Avraham Dov Hershler, Laura Yvonne Bulk, Christina Cook, Hila Graf, Michael Lee, George Belliveau, Tal Jarus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative case study methodically explores ethical tensions that arose in the Research-based Theatre (RbT) project, Alone in the Ring (AitR), as a case. We borrowed Elliot Eisner’s set of tensions in Arts-Based Research (ABR), exploring the extent to which they manifested as ethical tensions in AitR. Following analysis of in-depth interviews with key project members, we identified five areas of ethical tension in AitR, adapting Eisner’s framework to account for the ethical dimensions of the tensions, their generative quality, and their temporal and social dimensions, as they manifested in AitR. Complicating Eisner’s general tensions for ABR, this article advances an adapted, RbT-specific framework with meta-language to reflect on the ethical terrain of RbT using the richness and specificity afforded by a case study. The framework is particularly useful for RbT practitioners seeking to maximize the benefits of RbT for knowledge translation, arts-based inquiry, and community engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • arts-based research
  • research ethics
  • research practice
  • research-based theatre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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