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Once On This Island - An Exploration of Nontraditional Casting

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Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against

Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against "type", which included the presentation of a full-length production of the musical "Once on this Island" which I attempted to cast based on vocal quality and skill alone rather than taking physical characteristics into account. I researched the history and implementation of nontraditional casting, both in regards to race and other factors such as gender, socio-economic status, and disability. I also considered the legal and intellectual property challenges that nontraditional casting can pose. I concluded from this research that while nontraditional casting is only one solution to the problem, it still has a great deal of potential to create diversity in theater. For my own show, I held the initial auditions via audio recording, though the callback auditions were held in person so that I and my crew could appraise dance and acting ability. Though there were many challenges with our cast after this initial round of auditions, we were able to solidify our cast and continue through the rehearsal process. All things said, the show was very successful. It is my hope that those who were a part of the show, either as part of the production or the audience, are inspired to challenge the concept of typecasting in contemporary theater.

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2014-12

Autoset Controller: Autonomous Control for Theatrical Systems

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Technical innovation has always played a part in live theatre, whether in the form of mechanical pieces like lifts and trapdoors to the more recent integration of digital media. The advances of the art form encourage the development of technology,

Technical innovation has always played a part in live theatre, whether in the form of mechanical pieces like lifts and trapdoors to the more recent integration of digital media. The advances of the art form encourage the development of technology, and at the same time, technological development enables the advancement of theatrical expression. As mechanics, lighting, sound, and visual media have made their way into the spotlight, advances in theatrical robotics continue to push for their inclusion in the director's toolbox. However, much of the technology available is gated by high prices and unintuitive interfaces, designed for large troupes and specialized engineers, making it difficult to access for small schools and students new to the medium. As a group of engineering students with a vested interest in the development of the arts, this thesis team designed a system that will enable troupes from any background to participate in the advent of affordable automation. The intended result of this thesis project was to create a robotic platform that interfaces with custom software, receiving commands and transmitting position data, and to design that software so that a user can define intuitive cues for their shows. In addition, a new pathfinding algorithm was developed to support free-roaming automation in a 2D space. The final product consisted of a relatively inexpensive (< $2000) free-roaming platform, made entirely with COTS and standard materials, and a corresponding control system with cue design, wireless path following, and position tracking. This platform was built to support 1000 lbs, and includes integrated emergency stopping. The software allows for custom cue design, speed variation, and dynamic path following. Both the blueprints and the source code for the platform and control system have been released to open-source repositories, to encourage further development in the area of affordable automation. The platform itself was donated to the ASU School of Theater.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Modeling Surface Brightness of the HH 901 Jets in the Carina Nebula

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The purpose of this thesis is to accurately simulate the surface brightness in various spectral emission lines of the HH 901 jets in the Mystic Mountain Formation of the Carina Nebula. To accomplish this goal, we gathered relevant spectral emission

The purpose of this thesis is to accurately simulate the surface brightness in various spectral emission lines of the HH 901 jets in the Mystic Mountain Formation of the Carina Nebula. To accomplish this goal, we gathered relevant spectral emission line data for [Fe II] 12660 Å, Hα 6563 Å, and [S II] 6720 Å to compare with Hubble Space Telescope observations of the HH 901 jets presented in Reiter et al. (2016). We derived the emissivities for these lines from the spectral synthesis code Cloudy by Ferland et al. (2017). In addition, we used WENO simulations of density, temperature, and radiative cooling to model the jet. We found that the computed surface brightness values agreed with most of the observational surface brightness values. Thus, the 3D cylindrically symmetric simulations of surface brightness using the WENO code and Cloudy spectral emission models are accurate for jets like HH 901. After detailing these agreements, we discuss the next steps for the project, like adding an external ambient wind and performing the simulations in full 3D.

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Date Created
2020-05