Title: Facilitating emotion management: organisational and individual strategies in the theatre

Authors: Stina Bergman Blix

Addresses: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Detailed analysis of two theatre productions shows that the concept of bounded emotionality can be used to tease out aspects of emotion management that would not otherwise have been detectable. Non-instrumental ways to manage emotions - to facilitate emotion work - are used in situations where the goal is to produce quality performances, not to promote well-being as such. The rehearsal period consists of phases that require different emotion management strategies. In an initial phase, a secure working climate is established to deal with feelings of insecurity and shame. A creative phase allows for role-related emotions, and a crisis phase calls for a balance between frontstage and backstage regions. In a final phase, the ensemble closes its ranks and prepares to meet the audience. The director is expected to 'manipulate with finesse', transforming his/her leadership role during the rehearsal process from that of boss to coach. Private, role-related and situation-related emotions are differentiated, showing how emotions are seized, channelled and divided in order to direct emotional energy in effective ways. Finally, we discuss implications for organisations outside the theatrical domain.

Keywords: bounded emotionality; creativity; emotional climate; emotion management; shame; stage actors; theatre productions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2014.060930

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2014 Vol.6 No.2, pp.193 - 208

Published online: 24 May 2014 *

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