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CoriolanU.S.: A Modern Retelling of Shakespeare's Coriolanus

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For my thesis I wrote CoriolanU.S., a brand new play based on the storyline of Shakespeare's Coriolanus. It is in modern English and could stand alone as its own work if one was not familiar with the original play. It

For my thesis I wrote CoriolanU.S., a brand new play based on the storyline of Shakespeare's Coriolanus. It is in modern English and could stand alone as its own work if one was not familiar with the original play. It follows Coriolanus, a police officer who decides to run for mayor after becoming a hero in his city for helping quell a protest. Running against him is Brutus, a white, female neoliberal who represents a seemingly different, but sometimes similar, political side. Coriolanus is meant to be symbolic of the modern day Republican party and show how difficult it can be for people of color to interact with the political scene. The play also features Aufidius, a flawed but determined political activist in the city. The work deals with themes of immigration, over policing, and what people are willing to do to implement their version of a better world. In addition to writing this piece, I also directed and produced a production of it at a local arts collective; the show ran for three nights. I worked with a cast of twelve students for a period of seven weeks. We had rehearsals on the Tempe campus. When casting the play, I had to pay attention to race because many of the roles in my new play are written specifically for people of color. Thus, putting together this thesis involved research not only into adapting Shakespeare's work, but also research into adapting his work for people of color actors and audience. From start to finish, my thesis involved reading Shakespeare, conducting research, writing the play, getting feedback on it and rewriting parts, the rehearsal process of the play, and staging the production.

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Date Created
2018-12

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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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Date Created
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

Girls and Boys are Different: The Musical

Description

We endeavored to begin the process of writing a musical. We composed a total of three songs, 30 pages of script (non-consecutive) with an outline summarizing the remaining uncompleted pages, seven character summaries/analyses, and a reflection on the process and

We endeavored to begin the process of writing a musical. We composed a total of three songs, 30 pages of script (non-consecutive) with an outline summarizing the remaining uncompleted pages, seven character summaries/analyses, and a reflection on the process and next steps, and presented them in a “Producer Pitch” format to our readers. In our paper we discuss the birth of inspiration for Girls And Boys—namely philosophical conflicts about the role of biology vs. society in gender identity and real, local events of public districts reevaluating their sex education program—as well as the challenges we experienced during the process and our intentions for continued work towards the completion of the material. In our written script we span the opening of the show to the climax through sporadically completed scenes, with the outline serving to fill in the blanks. In our music, we composed three pieces—a solo ballad, an ensemble number, and an emotional trio—that we converted into an audio file format, and performed live for a small audience. Ultimately, we seek to use the elevated drama of a musical to convince the audience that empathy is the truest, ageless, and genderless expression of humanity.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05

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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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Created

Date Created
2018-05