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Honors Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Theatre and Performance Studies

Oscar. Delta. Echo. A Study On The Physical Poetics Of Gratitude, Victoria Michalowsky May 2019

Oscar. Delta. Echo. A Study On The Physical Poetics Of Gratitude, Victoria Michalowsky

Honors Theses

This document chronicles my choreographic process during my final year at Dominican University of California. It explores how loss can be understood through the embodied experience and expression of gratitude. The arc of relationships, through the process of introductions, intimacy, and absence, is communicated as a tender ode, expressed both in words and in dance.

The primary source comes from the finished dance and the choreographic process itself. The themes also draw inspiration from the works of Oscar Wilde, John O’Donohue, and Kimerer LaMothe as well as the poetry of David Whyte, Mary Oliver, and Jane Hirschfield. Through this ...


Moving Through, Moving On: Examining The Life Well Lived Through The Lense Of Impermanence, Aidan O'Leary May 2019

Moving Through, Moving On: Examining The Life Well Lived Through The Lense Of Impermanence, Aidan O'Leary

Honors Theses

This thesis explores the themes from Walking Each Other Home, the work I choreographed as part of my graduation requirements in the Alonzo King Lines BFA Program at Dominican University. I begin by making the case for the academic discussion of dance, including barriers to the development of the field and my place in it. Asserting that dance is a subject of religious merit, I place my piece within a broader context of dance pieces that deal with topic and themes of myth and spiritual truth. I then give a brief overview of Buddhism, centering around the Four Noble Truths ...


16:9- A Study Of Manipulating Perceptions Through Movement, Samantha Weeks May 2019

16:9- A Study Of Manipulating Perceptions Through Movement, Samantha Weeks

Honors Theses

This thesis explores the concepts of editing and manipulating through the deconstruction and rebuilding of ideas. Inspiration sprung through researching the job of a film editor, and noting how an editing action takes place in everyday life. Using Thelma Schoonmaker’s body of work, which includes her film editing on a number of Martin Scorcese's films, I examined this idea of manipulation through choreographing my Senior Dance Project. Titled 16:9, the dance also shows the power of deconstruction through a thoughtfully constructed short film, which is presented halfway through. A film editor can take documentary footage and make ...


Composite Bodies: Construction And Deconstruction Of Our Identities Through Movement, Pauline Mosley May 2019

Composite Bodies: Construction And Deconstruction Of Our Identities Through Movement, Pauline Mosley

Honors Theses

This thesis examines some of the roles artists take on as humans, separate from their lives as artists and how said roles impact in the forming of our identity. Applying the deconstructionist theory by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, phenomenology by Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau- Ponty, and the journals of students involved in the study, the idea that the body and mind must work as one in order to create movement is dissected and reconstructed. Beginning with investigating the roles artists are born into, create for themselves and think they have, dancers involved in the study use their own ...


Idiosyncratic: The Formation Of Artistic Voice Through Movement Research And Choreographic Processes, Kerry Healy May 2019

Idiosyncratic: The Formation Of Artistic Voice Through Movement Research And Choreographic Processes, Kerry Healy

Honors Theses

This project seeks to answer how individual voices are formed through dance and choreography. The answer to this question was discovered through physicalized research and embodying concepts and tasks during my Senior Project choreography process. My dancers and I experimented with the idea of self versus society: how do we differentiate our own artistic voices from the voices of those around us? How do we remain ourselves when we are so greatly influenced by society? Artistic voice greatly influences and forms our identities as humans. The answers to these questions lie within personal aesthetics, the philosophical study of beauty and ...


Three Forms Of Death In David Rabe’S The Basic Training Of Pavlo Hummel And Sticks And Bones, Sloan Garner May 2019

Three Forms Of Death In David Rabe’S The Basic Training Of Pavlo Hummel And Sticks And Bones, Sloan Garner

Honors Theses

In this thesis, I argue there are three main forms of death that progress chronologically in David Rabe’s The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Sticks and Bones. First, the death of civilian identity as the soldier conforms to the military. Secondly, the soldier’s killing—metaphoric or literal—of others, which is part of his attempt to fit with his new military identity. Third, the soldier’s sacrificial suicide as his escape from the military identity. In this paper, I provide evidence and close reading to support my argument that the protagonists in both plays, Pavlo and David ...


Uncommon Women And Others And The Story Told Without Words, Rachel Rose Burke May 2019

Uncommon Women And Others And The Story Told Without Words, Rachel Rose Burke

Honors Theses

This project is a documentation of the scenic design process for the Salem State University production of Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein. The production ran between February 14th and February 24th, 2019 in the Callan Studio Theater at Salem State University and was directed by Brianne Beatrice, with assistance from Allyson Kinch. The director’s concept was to force focus on the dialogue within the play by creating a sense of realism and comfort in the environment. This would emphasize the realistic nature of the strong female characters as they attempt to plan their lifelong goals upon their ...


Contemplative Strategies In The Classroom, Delaney T. M. Jenkins May 2019

Contemplative Strategies In The Classroom, Delaney T. M. Jenkins

Honors Theses

Contemplative Strategies are teaching methods used to increase student focus, deepen awareness, and create personal connections to the subjects they are studying. Activities such as breathing and meditation deepen learning and have the ability to allow students to learn emotional regulation, increase reflection and empathy, thus opening student’s ability see themselves as an integral part of learning. Contemplative strategies are beneficial to the theater classroom and are also a universally beneficial form of education regardless of content or age group.

In this thesis, the research of the theory, practice, current trends, and resources of contemplative pedagogy aids in the ...


Looking Backward, Moving Forward: The How And Why Of A Degree In Theatre, Stephen Zubricki Iv May 2019

Looking Backward, Moving Forward: The How And Why Of A Degree In Theatre, Stephen Zubricki Iv

Honors Theses

This paper seeks to process the usefulness and purpose, as it pertains to the author, of obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with a performance concentration by examining the production process of Poison of Choice written and directed by Professor William Cunningham (Bill) and produced during the fall 2018 semester by the Salem State University Theatre and Speech Communications Department. It identifies concrete theatrical knowledge acquired through a detailed breakdown of the production process, and the author’s personal artistic process as an actor in the production. This is followed by a reflection on the positive and negative ...


A Stage Manager Prepares, Cassidy Sullivan May 2019

A Stage Manager Prepares, Cassidy Sullivan

Honors Theses

To continue my journey of developing my skills through the process of a production, I served as the production stage manager for SSU Theatre and Speech Department’s production of the musical Ragtime. Throughout this process, I worked with a management team, including a co-stage manager, to run rehearsals, generate the necessary paperwork to develop a stage manager’s prompt book and, come performance, call the show. To give myself an opportunity to respond to my individual process, I also kept a personal journal. Throughout the rehearsal process I maintained the journal with my thoughts from the week in response ...


Technology In Theatre: Breaking The Fourth Wall, Samantha Burns May 2019

Technology In Theatre: Breaking The Fourth Wall, Samantha Burns

Honors Theses

For a long time, theatre has been seen as a medium of the past. With new technologies such as cellphones being more commonplace, there could be a way to utilize them in theatre. This thesis is a reflection on writing an interactive script, figuring out the best way for an audience to interact with a performance utilizing their phones. The play comments on women in not only theatre, but all sorts of media and how they are portrayed.


Screaming, Humming: A Look Into Student Theatrical Direction And The Importance Of Queer Narratives On Stage And In The Rehearsal Room, Kropveld Danielle Apr 2019

Screaming, Humming: A Look Into Student Theatrical Direction And The Importance Of Queer Narratives On Stage And In The Rehearsal Room, Kropveld Danielle

Honors Theses

There is a large lack of discussion and writing concerning the intersections of queer theory, theatre as an art form, and student direction. My thesis attempts to add to this small amount of work. Using historical evidence, I define radical queer theory and its implications for art. I contextualize my own work in the rehearsal room with the piece Screaming, Humming by Hannah Manikowski with this framework, and speak to my experience of casting and rehearsal.

As a student director whose acting collaborators are also students, there are additional considerations to be taken into account. This experience also serves as ...


Cloud Tectonics: A Footlight 2 Production, Cal Kreiner Apr 2019

Cloud Tectonics: A Footlight 2 Production, Cal Kreiner

Honors Theses

The purpose of “Cloud Tectonics: A Footlight 2 Production,” was to produce a full length, professional production of Jose Rivera’s one-act play, Cloud Tectonics, part of which includes the creation of a professional grade directorial book detailing the process and thought that went into the staging of the show. Because of copyright and other legalities, the directorial book without the annotated script is all that can be included in Scholarworks; however, in the book you’ll find a thorough analytical examination of the playwright’s dramaturgical choices, their intended impact, and how the director interpreted and expressed those concepts ...


The Caregiver: A Play Script To Raise Awareness Of The Caregivers Of Alzheimer's Patients, Sarah Stiner Apr 2019

The Caregiver: A Play Script To Raise Awareness Of The Caregivers Of Alzheimer's Patients, Sarah Stiner

Honors Theses

Inspired by true events that are happening every day, The Caregiver shows glimpses into the life a woman who is caring for her husband, who has been diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. Follow the woman, her husband, and her daughter as they search for answers and experience the emotional rollercoaster of living with this disease. There is sadness, confusion, frustration, but also joy, hope, and love in a story which explores how much care we all truly need, wherever we are in life.


Stigma Mitigation Through Fine Arts, Kendall Owens Mar 2019

Stigma Mitigation Through Fine Arts, Kendall Owens

Honors Theses

Social stigma has plagued our society for centuries. It isolates groups of people based on erroneously defined characteristics causing stigmatized persons to be viewed as socially “abnormal”. This debarment from full social acceptance results in poor population health and well-being. Fine arts have been an integral component of society since the beginning of civilization; current and past research have found involvement in fine arts to improve health and well-being in many ways. In this project, relevant studies related to stigma, fine arts, and population health will be reviewed to support the argument that “fine arts combat and mitigate the impact ...


Shame: Its Place In Life And American Drama, Lauren Elisabeth Terry Jan 2019

Shame: Its Place In Life And American Drama, Lauren Elisabeth Terry

Honors Theses

I spent my twenty-second birthday driving six hours by myself through the back roads of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. I was traveling to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to interview at the University of Southern Mississippi for their MFA Theatre Directing program. As someone who loves birthdays, spending this time by myself with only my nerves to accompany me was difficult. However, it was during this trip that I stumbled across something that would change my life.

Leading up to that trip to Hattiesburg were years of theatre involvement. On a whim, in eighth grade, I auditioned for a production of White Christmas ...


The North Pool, Matthew Mintz Jun 2018

The North Pool, Matthew Mintz

Honors Theses

The North Pool is set in Sheffield Massachusetts, in a typical American public high school. The entirety of the show takes place on Friday, April 13, 2007. The play takes place during spring time, so it can be assumed that it is mildly warm but not too hot. Specifically, it is known that the meeting time between the two protagonists, and the start of what the audience witnesses, begins at 4 in the afternoon. In terms of evaluating the economic environment, the most valued thing throughout this play is the memory of Lia Whinston, the student who committed suicide. She ...


The Art Of The Dress: How Getting Into Costume Affects An Actor’S Self-Perception, Ella Embry May 2018

The Art Of The Dress: How Getting Into Costume Affects An Actor’S Self-Perception, Ella Embry

Honors Theses

Both actors and psychologists devote enormous amounts of time to understanding how people think, act, and respond even if for completely different reasons. While there are psychological studies that look at the way clothing influences attraction, aggression, and attitude, none of it looks critically at theatrical performance. Costuming is a vital part of the theatrical process that has yet to be studied empirically. As such, my study is an inter-disciplinary endeavor dedicated to developing an understanding of exactly how and whether costuming affects an actor’s personality perception as a way to contribute to the field of psychology, future theatrical ...


Authoritarian Pedagogical Practices In Dance Teaching And Choreography, Charlotte Carmichael May 2018

Authoritarian Pedagogical Practices In Dance Teaching And Choreography, Charlotte Carmichael

Honors Theses

This paper examines the authoritarian pedagogical practices found in educational settings and more specifically, in Western classical and contemporary dance training and rehearsals. These practices have been a part of dance for centuries, and their legacy has had severe impacts on the ethical, psychological, and political undercurrent of students’ educational and professional experiences. First, the historical roots of authoritarian teaching techniques are presented. Next, the ways in which dance teachers and choreographers employ authoritarian teaching behaviors are considered and examined. Finally, in hopes of providing a better template for the future, an overview of the ways in which some dance ...


The Examination Of A Magic Show In Its Past, Current, And Future Forms Based Around A Recorded Performance Before A Live Audience, Armory Hermetz May 2018

The Examination Of A Magic Show In Its Past, Current, And Future Forms Based Around A Recorded Performance Before A Live Audience, Armory Hermetz

Honors Theses

This project is an analysis and reflection on a magic show performed by myself before a live audience and recorded for documentation. It is a snapshot in time of my progress as a performer at a particular point in my career as a magician. In this paper, I detail my current philosophies on the performance of magic and the reasons why I made certain decisions regarding the structure of the show and the routines I performed. In addition to this, I also discuss adaptations that I have made to these routines since the performance. The analysis is based entirely on ...


Drama As A Tool For Addressing Cultural Stereotypes, Elizabeth Smoak May 2018

Drama As A Tool For Addressing Cultural Stereotypes, Elizabeth Smoak

Honors Theses

In children’s drama and literature, Native Americans are rarely represented fully and accurately. Generalizations and stereotypes have lead to severe misunderstandings and an underappreciation for Native American cultures, even in areas rich with their history. This research study sought the efficacy of classroom drama strategies on classroom learning, particularly using storytelling to further children’s understanding of Native American culture. The results show that drama and storytelling can be effective ways to teach children about other cultures by keeping students engaged, promoting participation, and allowing students to make connections and explore learning on their own.


Planning A Year End Formal, Anna Volkman Apr 2018

Planning A Year End Formal, Anna Volkman

Honors Theses

The intended outcome of this project was to create an event not only to celebrate the successes of the Department of Dance at Western Michigan University, but also to gain visibility for the student-ran organization, Orchesis Dance Society while emphasizing the power art has to unify communities. This project is an example for the organization and the Department of Dance as to how events like this are important for visibility, community involvement, and the celebration of art’s power. I created a year-end formal as an example of how art brings communities of people together and should be celebrated in ...


A Written History Of The Western Michigan University Department Of Dance, Amy Russell Mar 2018

A Written History Of The Western Michigan University Department Of Dance, Amy Russell

Honors Theses

This historical, introspective telling of the Western Michigan University’s Department of Dance examines its development in relation to dance in higher education and dance across the United States. An analysis of the development of dance at Western Michigan University in comparison to other universities and the dance field was conducted by studying professional influences in the field and evolving social, educational, and industry trends. Research from texts written by respected dance scholars was collected, and trade journals were consulted for information regarding current trends in the dance field. Archival research at the Western Michigan University Zhang Legacy Collections Center ...


On Latino Representation In Theatre, Jazmine Mateo Jan 2018

On Latino Representation In Theatre, Jazmine Mateo

Honors Theses

Theatre is becoming more inclusive, more diverse, and I am intending on this paper to to shed light on it, so others may see this too. Growing up I didn’t see much Latino representation in Broadway theatre, so naturally the feeling I got when I was first presented with In the Heights by Lin Manuel Miranda at my high school was incredible. Seeing people on stage that looked like me and had stories like mine for the first time in my life was inspiring. It left me wondering, wanting, and curious to see what else was out there. I ...


A Study Of Children In Musical Theatre: How We Really Are All In This Together, Brittani Napoli Jan 2018

A Study Of Children In Musical Theatre: How We Really Are All In This Together, Brittani Napoli

Honors Theses

I never thought that I would be directing a full children’s theatre production while still being a full-time college student. When I was hired at the YMCA of the Northshore three and a half years ago, I never thought that I would be directing at all. At the time, I was very content with teaching my classes, and being a theatre camp counselor in the summer. I had no idea that just a few years later, I’d be not only directing at one of our seven locations, but finding my real passion. Now, I aspire to work full-time ...


Accessibility In The Theatre, Allison Austin Jan 2018

Accessibility In The Theatre, Allison Austin

Honors Theses

In the fall of 2016, I received the opportunity to participate in the Chicago Semester. Through this program, I was able to participate in an internship at a theatre in Chicago and get credit hours from that instead of academic classes. I interned at Lifeline Theatre in Chicago's northernmost neighborhood, Rogers Park. Most of what I did was box office work, but I also worked on financial reports, marketing, and a little bit of everything it takes to run a theatre. Of all the things I learned during the semester, the most important one was the need for accessible ...


Collaborative Storytelling With Different Artistic Mediums, Andrew Martin Jan 2018

Collaborative Storytelling With Different Artistic Mediums, Andrew Martin

Honors Theses

I play a card game called Magic: The Gathering. The tasks of the art director of the cards and the creative process they utilize is fascinating to me. Through researching my favorite card game and through the creation and design of Painting the Roses Red, a theatre production at Ouachita Baptist University that took place in February of 2018, I have found several similarities between the art direction of Magic and the direction of Painting the Roses Red. In the following, I will compare the two artistic mediums, and describe my design process for the Cheshire Cat puppet for Painting ...


Acting In A Global Context: Characterization From The Physical Context Of Shakespeare's Spaces, Anna Joie Valdez Jan 2018

Acting In A Global Context: Characterization From The Physical Context Of Shakespeare's Spaces, Anna Joie Valdez

Honors Theses

The proposition that the Elizabethan theatre space, with its lack of a "fourth wall" the delivery of Shakespeare's works is nothing new. From a technical standpoint, scholars have also suggested that analysis of the spoken text implies stage directions for both actors and technicians. These approaches are still used by directors at the New Globe in London, England, and are a heavily emphasized point in the curriculum of the Globe Association. Actors are encouraged to embrace the intimate proximity of the audience and the configuration of the balconies as a major influence in their delivery of the text.

There ...


Laramie Project Lighting Design, Jay Foster-Grover Jun 2017

Laramie Project Lighting Design, Jay Foster-Grover

Honors Theses

After establishing a concept and an internal image of the lighting environment for The Laramie Project came the process of creating a lighting plot, hanging and focusing the plot, and programming ques. This stage occupied the two weeks before the show opened, because before this point, the director had not solidified blocking choices or done run-thrus. The goal of this stage was to evaluate the resources available to me and the way that they could best be used to create the looks I wanted, followed by precise implementation of those resources. This process also involved collaborating with and responding to ...


The Seagull: A Character Study Of Nina Zarechnaya And The Role Of Women In Theatre, Olivia Dumaine May 2017

The Seagull: A Character Study Of Nina Zarechnaya And The Role Of Women In Theatre, Olivia Dumaine

Honors Theses

As a BFA Theatre Performance student, my senior project will consist of an in depth character study of Nina Zarechnaya from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. The initial research and script analysis will be done over the summer and will continue into the fall, with rehearsals taking place throughout the fall semester, leading to the final performances which will take place from December 1st, 2016 through December 11th, 2016. The goal of the project is to explore the inner life of Nina, and compare my own discoveries to the discoveries of other actresses who have tackled this character. By doing ...