Browsing Department of Theatre Arts by Title
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ItemA director's approach to Dancing at Lughnasa.(2017-03-21) Breeden, Heidi, 1983-; Castleberry, Marion.This thesis details the production process for Baylor Theatre’s mainstage production of Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel, directed by Heidi Breeden, in partial fulfillment of the Master of Fine Arts in Directing. Dancing at Lughnasa is a somewhat autobiographical memory play, featuring strong roles for women and requiring advanced acting skills. This thesis first investigates the life and works of Brian Friel, then offers a director’s analysis of the text, documents the director’s process for the production, and finally offers a reflection on the strengths and opportunities for improvement for the director’s future work. ItemA director's approach to Helen Edmundson's Anna Karenina.(2018-04-09) Horowitz, Joshua R., 1991-; Toten Beard, Deanna M., 1969-Helen Edmundson’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is an engaging yet complicated script that presents a challenge to directors and designers alike. The play breaks down the eight hundred-page novel into an evening’s entertainment and forces the two main characters to encounter one another and together relive their stories. This thesis is a documentation of the director’s process in approaching, conceptualizing, analyzing, and staging Edmondson’s script at Baylor University in February of 2018. This thesis explores the difficulties in adapting a literary classic like Anna Karenina for the stage and relates specific adaptation choices to the theatrical style of the play. ItemA director's approach to Ken Ludwig's Moon over Buffalo.(2016-07-05) Hoenshell, Nick R., 1986-; Toten Beard, Deanna M., 1969-Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo is a comedy that presents its audience with a unique theatrical experience. While attempting to follow the dramatic structure of certain classical comedies, the thematic plot of Ludwig’s play is largely interrupted by farce. This thesis examines the directorial process of approaching and producing Moon Over Buffalo, with a consideration to the playwright, production history, critical response, conceptual approach, and the process of working with designers and actors to bring the play to a performance run at Baylor University. This thesis also provides a special exploration into the nature and historical development of the genre as a legitimate theatrical art form. ItemA director's approach to Sam Shepard's True West.(2015-07-14) Yoho, Rob E., 1987-; Jortner, David, 1971-Sam Shepard’s True West is a black comedy that tells the story of Austin and Lee, two brothers leading vastly different lives who meet unexpectedly at their mother’s home in suburban Los Angeles, and through a series of increasingly surreal events, attempt to assume the identity of the other. This thesis surveys and critiques the research and practical phases of Baylor University’s May, 2015 mainstage production of this play. Chapter One examines the life and works of Sam Shepard with special attention given to True West’s critical legacy and major productions. Chapter Two analyzes Shepard’s play and applies relevant critical theory to his text. Chapters Three and Four chronicle the application of this analysis and theory to directing the play and collaborating with actors and designers. Finally, Chapter Five assesses the production’s strengths and weaknesses. ItemA director’s approach to A Monster Calls.(May 2023) Curto, Chelsea, 1990-; Jortner, David, 1971-This thesis documents and analyzes the directorial approach to the process and product of A Monster Calls, produced at Baylor University at the beginning of December 2022. This piece charts the conception of the adaptation of A Monster Calls from idea to novel to stage production and engages ecocritical theory as a lens through which to analyze the script and develop a directorial concept for the Baylor production. The thesis also charts the development, design, and rehearsal process of staging the Baylor production, emphasizing the director’s effort to facilitate a communal and collaborative artistic process. The thesis ends with an analysis of the reception of the process and product of the work and an autoethnographic reflection of the director’s role in bringing the piece to life. ItemA director’s approach to Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville : a Sherlock Holmes mystery.(2021-08-05) Vermeulen-Wise, Edward E., 1977-; Jortner, David, 1971-This thesis documents the production process and the directorial approach to Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery performed at Baylor University in the spring of 2021. The work explores Ken Ludwig’s biography, how his writings are inspired by the comedies in the Great Tradition, and an analysis of the play. As subgenre of comedy, mysteries share many of the same qualities as comedies in the Great Tradition. Ludwig’s adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles shares a pedigree with the greatest mysteries ever written, wrapped in a comic guise influenced by the works of Shakespeare, Sheridan, and Goldsmith. Additionally, this thesis explores the challenges that arose in the design and rehearsals processes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ItemA director’s approach to the new Gershwin musical Crazy for You.(2018-03-08) Brown, Aaron Matthew, 1987-; Jortner, David, 1971-In 1992, The “new” Gershwin musical Crazy for You premiered on Broadway to rave reviews. The musical production, adapted from the 1930 Gershwin musical Girl Crazy, featured a new book by Ken Ludwig, choreography by Susan Stroman, and a score compiled from the music catalog of George and Ira Gershwin. The tap-dancing comedy adapts and invokes the conventions of classic musical theatre. This thesis documents the production process and the directorial approach to Crazy for You performed at Baylor University in the fall of 2017. ItemA duty to participate : a dramaturg’s approach to Twelve Angry Jurors.(May 2023) Scott, Hailey, 1997-; Toten Beard, Deanna M., 1969-In 1954 the teleplay by Reginald Rose Twelve Angry Men premiered on CBS’s Studio One anthology series. It was an immediate stand-out in the works of the already boundary breaking Rose. The story about the power of one person to stand up against seeming insurmountable odds to seek mercy for a stranger struck a chord with audiences that would carry it to a permanent place in popular culture. Like the rest of Rose’s work, it used the legal system as a device to examine the responsibilities we have to each other. Multiple stage versions were developed to bring the story to live audiences in the decades since. This thesis examines the production process surrounding the October 2022 Baylor Theatre production of Twelve Angry Jurors. It explores the playwright’s life and work, and the history of the development of the script from which we worked. It then details my role as the dramaturg in this process while explaining theory of dramaturgical practice. ItemA real woman : a director's approach to Federico Garcia Lorca's Yerma.(2020-04-30) Williams, Valerie Lynn, 1975-; Toten Beard, Deanna M., 1969-Federico García Lorca’s play Yerma tells the story of a young woman in a rural Spanish town, who has been married for over two years and has not become pregnant. Her husband, Juan, says he does not want children but Yerma searches for a solution to their infertility. In the end, Yerma realizes she will never have children with Juan, she decides to kill him and the possibility of ever having children. This thesis documents the analytical, design, and rehearsal processes as well as the overall directorial approach to Yerma as performed at Baylor University in the spring of 2020. ItemAdventure towards community : a director's approach to Bryony Lavery's Treasure Island.(2022-04-27) Dillard, Abigail Frances, 1994-; Jortner, David, 1971-This thesis documents the production process and the directorial approach to Treasure Island produced at Baylor University at the end of February 2022. This work examines Bryony Lavery’s biography and that of her co-author Robert Louis Stevenson. It discusses the inspiration of the two authors, their connections to the piece, and includes and analysis of the play through the lens of adaptation and Anne Hutcheon’s theory of adaptation. and it’s use as an analysis tool for the script. As this adaptation presents Jim Hawkins as a young girl, we look at the impact of adapting the gender of the characters and its push to include everyone in this adventure story through a cast of playable pirates. The thesis also discusses the development of the director’s concept, the design process, auditions, rehearsals, and the run of sold-out performances in Baylor Theatre’s Mabee theatre. Additionally, this thesis explores the impact of COVID-19 on the production, the audience reception, and the impact of a show performed with an emphasis on community. ItemAmerican national identity, the “other,” and the Little Theatre Movement.(2017-04-03) Denman, Merritt, 1991-; Beard, DeAnna M. Toten (DeAnna Michelle), 1969-The Little Theatre Movement began in the early twentieth century as an effort to create theatre which was inventive, well-made, and uniquely American at a time when American theatre had yet to be established. While the movement was beneficial to the trajectory of American theatre, its attempt at forging national identity led little theatre practitioners to define themselves using exclusivist ideology. They came to define Americans as an “in” group of upper-middle class white people versus an “out” group composed of everyone else. Using original research this project will explore the rhetoric and practices of the Little Theatre Movement with relation to “outsiders” by examining two genres which were popular in little theatres across America: Orientalist and Folk plays. This analysis will demonstrate that the movement, while beneficial in establishing the American Theatre, was guilty of reinforcing exclusivist notions in the process. ItemBroadening the circle : the evolution of survivance and mimicry as theme in selected Native American drama.(2020-07-14) Stone, Michael A., 1992-; Jortner, David, 1971-From its beginning the modern Native American Literary Dramatic Project has been rooted in the desire to define and preserve a voice driven to the brink of extinction by the forces of Euroamerican colonization. Over time, as the threat of outright extinction has waned, Native American playwrights have begun exploring means of developing Native American voices and resisting colonial assimilation. Hanay Geiogamah’s Body Indian, the first play ever produced by the Native American Theatre Ensemble, developed a combination of survival and resistance Gerald Vizenor would later term, “survivance,” and N. Scott Momaday’s first play, The Indolent Boys, turned to the postcolonial concept of mimicry as a means of resisting the cultural erasure of America’s boarding school project. Randy Reinholz’ play, Off the Rails, which premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare festival in 2017, presents the attempt to unify these themes and develop the next step forward in Native American drama. ItemBuilding layers of communities : a director's approach to Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth.(2011-05-12T15:39:09Z) Hibbs, Shelby-Allison.; Toten Beard, Deanna M., 1969-; Theatre Arts.; Baylor University. Dept. of Theatre Arts.Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth offers a cross section of myths and significant pieces of human history in the context of New Jersey in the 1940s. Wilder uses a "play within a play" approach to present the Antrobus family as they endure monumental natural and man-made disasters. This thesis provides an example of a director's process with this challenging play through an ensemble-oriented and improvisational rehearsal process. This study provides a selective biography of the playwright, containing elements of Wilder's history associated with the themes and relationships in The Skin of Our Teeth as well as a full analysis of the play. The remaining parts of this thesis include the production's conceptual inspiration, a narrative of the rehearsal process, and a reflection of the completed production at Baylor University Theatre including production photos. ItemBuried underground : The Subway's contribution to American theatre.(2019-07-24) Papas, Casey Michael, 1992-; Jortner, David, 1971-The Subway (written 1923, performed 1929) is Elmer Rice’s lesser-known American expressionist work. The play’s lowered status amongst his dramatic work stems from its problematic production history, coupled with critical comparison to Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal (1928). Rice speaks little on the play, giving the entirety of its production history a mere three paragraphs in his autobiography, Minority Report (1963). Despite this, Rice believed the play to be a greater example of American expressionism than The Adding Machine. Further, the comparisons to Machinal are not coincidental but in fact indicate an influence on Treadwell’s play. In examining The Subway’s text, production history, and critical reception, this thesis strives to present a thorough appraisal of its theatrical relevance, rectify the obscurity surrounding the work, and consider evidence of the play’s direct influence on Treadwell’s text. ItemCarry it with you : trauma and identity in Heather Raffo’s 9 Parts of Desire and Noura.(2022-05-02) Elnaggar, Suzanne M., 1988-; Jortner, David, 1971-Heather Raffo, an acclaimed Iraqi-American playwright, is best known for her dramatic narratives, 9 Parts of Desire and Noura, which focus on Iraq and Iraqi women. Trained as an actor, Raffo felt compelled to write the culturally conscious and identity-informed roles for herself which were lacking in Western theatre. As part of the cohort of rising Middle Eastern and North African playwrights, her plays focus on representing both trauma and identity. While trauma studies has only more recently been applied to performance, Raffo’s corpus is apt for analyses from the lenses of represented historical, cultural, and personal trauma, as well as consideration in light of spectator- and witnesship. After an introduction in the first chapter, in the second chapter this thesis establishes the biography of Raffo and a brief production history of her work. Next, the third chapter surveys trauma studies and establishes the theoretical structures which will be applied to Raffo’s texts. Through analyses of the narratives, the fourth chapter examines represented trauma in 9 Parts of Desire while the fifth evaluates the same in Noura. This thesis then concludes that Raffo’s plays, as a whole, can be read as a commentary on Middle Eastern, North African, and specifically, Iraqi identity and representation, on both stage and page, of the trauma associated with those lived experiences. ItemDirecting Arthur Miller's All my sons.(2008-06-09T15:33:58Z) Northrup, Graham J.; Roark, Carolyn Dianne, 1973-; Theatre Arts.; Baylor University. Dept. of Theatre Arts.This thesis is a record of the Fall 2007 production of Arthur Miller’s play, All My Sons, as directed by Graham Northrup. Chapter One seeks to contextualize the play by presenting a brief professional biography of Miller and the circumstances that attended its writing. Chapter Two contains a production analysis of the script, which seeks to determine the nature of its structure, themes, characters, and setting. Chapter Three details the design concept and the process of implementing the scenic, lighting, costume, and sound elements for the show. Chapter Four is a record and a reflection on the rehearsal process, from auditions through dress rehearsals. Chapter Five presents a critique of the performances, as well as a reflection on the entire production process. ItemA director's approach to Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull".(2010-10-08T16:20:35Z) Johnson, Rebecca Susan.; Jortner, David, 1971-; Theatre Arts.; Baylor University. Dept. of Theatre Arts.This thesis examines the production process of the 2010 Baylor University Theatre production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull from the perspective of the director. This production highlighted the themes of art, love, and longing for fulfillment within the play. The study is broken into five chapters providing an overview of the production process. Chapter one provides a biographical overview of Chekhov's life, a brief production history of The Seagull, and a literary review of critical material about the play. Chapter two contains a detailed analysis of The Seagull, examining the given circumstances, structure, themes, and characters of the play. Chapter three follows the conceptual and design process of the production. Chapter four details the rehearsal process of The Seagull, focusing on the director's work with actors. Finally, chapter five provides a critical reflection of the final production and an analytical discussion of the director's work throughout the process. ItemA director's approach to Euripides' Hecuba.(2013-09-16) Peck, Christopher F.; Toten Beard, Deanna M., 1969-; Theatre Arts.; Baylor University. Dept. of Theatre Arts.This thesis explores a production of Euripides’ Hecuba as it was directed by Christopher Peck. Chapter One articulates a unique Euripidean dramatic structure to demonstrate the contemporary viability of Euripides’ play. Chapter Two utilizes this dramatic structure as the basis for an aggressive analysis of themes inherent in the production. Chapter Three is devoted to the conceptualization of this particular production and the relationship between the director and the designers in pursuit of this concept. Chapter Four catalogs the rehearsal process and how the director and actors worked together to realize the dramatic needs of the production. Finally Chapter Five is a postmortem of the production emphasizing the strengths and weaknesses of the final product of Baylor University’s Hecuba. ItemA director's approach to Garson Kanin's Born Yesterday.(2013-09-16) Hampton, Jessi M.; Toten Beard, Deanna M., 1969-; Theatre Arts.; Baylor University. Dept. of Theatre Arts.Garson Kanin’s 1945 play, Born Yesterday, depicts the transformation of a former chorus girl from an ignorant young “lady” into an educated and cultured “woman”. A Director’s Approach to Garson Kanin’s Born Yesterday explores the analytical and production aspects of producing the play on Baylor University’s mainstage. Chapter One explores the author, his works, and a critical assessment of previous Born Yesterday productions. Chapter Two gives analytical insight used to create a unified concept while Chapters Three and Four relay the practical application of the analysis and investigate collaboration with designers and actors. Finally, Chapter Five concludes with a discussion of strengths and weaknesses of the final production. ItemA director's approach to Jamie Pachino's Waving goodbye.(2006-12-11T16:26:36Z) Inouye, Daniel Paul.; Castleberry, Marion.; Theatre Arts.; Baylor University. Dept. of Theatre Arts.This thesis provides an in-depth analysis of Jamie Pachino's play, Waving Goodbye, followed by a detailed description of Daniel Inouye's directorial approach to the work in Baylor University’s production which ran from February 7 to February 12, 2006. Chapter one will provide background information on Waving Goodbye, and Pachino's life as a playwright. Chapter two will provide a concise analysis of the play specifically looking at its type and style and dramatic structure. Chapter three will cover the design and production choices made within the collaborative artistic process. Chapter four will follow the production process from the play's initial acceptance for the season through to its final performance. Chapter five will conclude with a critical self-evaluation and director reflection on the process.