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Forget Me Not: A Play on Media, Legacy, and the Significance of Female Friendship

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The process of playwriting is much more than merely writing the script itself; it is a process of outlining, writing, rewriting, and rewriting some more. This project explores that process from the very beginning to the late stages of final

The process of playwriting is much more than merely writing the script itself; it is a process of outlining, writing, rewriting, and rewriting some more. This project explores that process from the very beginning to the late stages of final rewrites on a full-length, two-act stage play, Forget Me Not. Thematically, the play addresses issues such as legacy, ambition, the limitations of memory, and the complex relationships between women. It also speaks to the possibility of hope and revolves around twenty-something characters who are not nihilistic or pretentious as in the frequently-dominant portrayal of that demographic, but rather witty, intelligent, and layered. The play applies techniques of playwriting with a focus on character development as the element that drives the story, while also playing with conceptions of memory and time through the framing device, structure, and narration. A craft essay follows the script of the play, detailing the process of conceptualizing, writing, and revising the play.

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2015-05

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

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Comrade Shakespeare: An Analysis of Theatrical Appropriations as Resistance in the Soviet Bloc

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This thesis explores the dialogue between William Shakespeare, Central and Eastern Europe during the Soviet experiment, and the power of performance as protest. Politically inflected plays that are transnational appropriations of Shakespeare were aimed to subvert state-sanctioned censorship in order

This thesis explores the dialogue between William Shakespeare, Central and Eastern Europe during the Soviet experiment, and the power of performance as protest. Politically inflected plays that are transnational appropriations of Shakespeare were aimed to subvert state-sanctioned censorship in order to enforce public socio-political interrogations of the Communist Party. My research first established a foundation for the site-specific historical and political context from which the interpretations stem, before examining the texts themselves as pieces of cultural resistance. I focused on four appropriations of Shakespeare’s plays, one being a rewrite of Richard III and three being rewrites of Hamlet: Nedyalko Yordanov’s The Murder of Gonzago from Bulgaria, Matei Visniec’s Richard III Will Not Take Place or Scenes from the Life of Vsevolod Meyerhold from Romania, Géza Bereményi’s Halmi, or the Prodigal Son from Hungary, and finally Boris Akunin’s Hamlet, A Version, a contemporary example of the lasting strength of Shakespearean appropriations. My research essentially followed the question of how countries from the Soviet bloc viewed its own contexts through the Shakespearean prism, as well as the phenomenon of political indictments being historically communicated through theater. I also examined how cultural representatives, for the purpose of this project being playwrights and dramatic performers, employ historically separate material to address the present issues. Ultimately, by researching pre- and post-communist dramas written within the architecture of Shakespeare, an understanding of the role and power of the artist in the political landscape can be attained.

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2018-05

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The Helen Project

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Though people are beginning to analyze the internet as an active social force, a seemingly insurmountable problem permeates all criticisms of the world wide web: how do we begin to frame the Internet as a subject of inquiry when its

Though people are beginning to analyze the internet as an active social force, a seemingly insurmountable problem permeates all criticisms of the world wide web: how do we begin to frame the Internet as a subject of inquiry when its role in our lives is constantly shifting, continually slipping from definition, yet undeniably reconstructing a new human condition? I believe an answer may lie in placing the Internet within the context of the Faust Myth \u2014 a legend that has repeatedly been used to explore humanity's obsession with power. For my undergraduate honors thesis, I wrote and performed an adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus in which I frame the Internet as a modern Faustian contract, and advocate a new approach to the use of technology.

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2013-05