• Kristin Kusanovich Santa Clara University
  • Jerome A. Cranston University of Regina



School leadership, Socio-emotional labour, Ethnodrama, Ethnotheatre, Emotional coding, Principalship,


Leadership has two faces: an outward-facing, public, performative dimension as well as an inward-facing, private aspect. The emotional labour performed ‘behind the scenes’ by leaders often remains hidden from observation. Nevertheless, it exacts a toll on their wellbeing. Opportunities to gain insights into the socio-emotional toll experienced by leaders are therefore limited. This arts-based research stages that oft hidden drama in the form of a five character one-act play, or ethnodrama, created from anonymized data generated from semi-structured interviews with school principals in Canada. The data was first coded using emotional codes developed from the positive and negative affect schedule [PANAS] (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). The most pronounced affects were incorporated into an original ethnodrama using the interview data and were subsequently validated by readers of the final artistic product. Stakeholders in education, leadership or the arts might engage in ethnotheatre, through performing or witnessing this work, to understand the hidden dynamism of the socio-emotional toll of school leadership. This article offers insights into the transdisciplinary intersections between leadership education and arts-based research, followed by the full script of the ethnodrama, and concludes with a description of the unique process through which data generated from classic, qualitative methods was artfully fashioned into The Two Faces of Leadership.

Author Biographies

Kristin Kusanovich, Santa Clara University

Senior Lecturer in Department of Theatre and Dance and Child Studies Program

Kristin Kusanovich, MFA, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Santa Clara University. Ms. Kusanovich is a professional choreographer, director, and workshop facilitator committed to enlivening discourse around issues of justice, ethics and civic engagement through the arts.


Cranston and Kusanovich’s co-authored book Ethnotheatre and Creative Methods for Teacher Leaders was published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan in their series on Creativity, Education and Arts.

Jerome A. Cranston, University of Regina

Professor & Dean, Faculty of Education


Jerome A. Cranston, Ph.D., is the Dean of the Faculty of Education and Professor of Educational Administration at University of Regina. He has spent much of his professional life practicing and studying educational administration and uses critical perspectives to uncover how organizational structures and behaviors can act as blinders to social injustice and inequity in the education system. 



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How to Cite

Kusanovich, K., & Cranston, J. A. (2020). THE TWO FACES OF LEADERSHIP: AN (ETHNO)DRAMA OF THE PRINCIPALSHIP. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 5(2), 489–523.