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Lighting Fire Under the Stereotype: The Art of Portraying Women in Drama

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Female social stereotypes paralyze female actors when approaching roles in theatre. This thesis discusses some of the social stereotypes I have encountered in theatre and how I have chosen to

Female social stereotypes paralyze female actors when approaching roles in theatre. This thesis discusses some of the social stereotypes I have encountered in theatre and how I have chosen to orient myself through those stereotypes. Combined with a 45 minute performance, I took iconic female roles that embody stereotypes such as, the girl-next-door, the mother, the ugly girl, the naïve virgin, and the tomboy, and tried to approach them through the given circumstances and not the stereotypes. The result ended in a powerful, vulnerable presentation that ignited the human truths under each stereotype. In order to create insightful, empowering female characters, actors must look at the given circumstances for the subtextual truths.

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  • 2014-05

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

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

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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,

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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  • 2015-05

Of Leto: a staged concert reading

Description

Of Leto: a staged concert reading is a new work development created by Alexander Tom and Daniel Oberhaus focusing on collegiate collaboration, production process, and creative intuition. An original story

Of Leto: a staged concert reading is a new work development created by Alexander Tom and Daniel Oberhaus focusing on collegiate collaboration, production process, and creative intuition. An original story was adapted by Daniel Oberhaus into a working libretto. Alexander Tom created a two-act musical-drama and utilized the colleges on the Arizona State University \u2014 Tempe campus: Barrett, the Honors College, W.P. Carey School of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts: School of Music and School of Theatre, Film and Dance. This cross-discipline staged concert reading was comprised of a libretto by Daniel Oberhaus, music, additional lyrics and orchestrations by Alexander Tom, and orchestrations by Drew Nichols. The performance included a thirteen-piece orchestra and fourteen vocalists in undergraduate and graduate programs. This paper includes research on Benjamin Britten and Myfanwy Piper's Death in Venice and Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Its purpose is to impart a comparative analysis on the process of collaboration in opera, musical theatre, and the newly determined "musical-drama" \u2014 the genre in which Of Leto resides. Use of historical research will expound on the evolution of musical theatre along with each team's collaborative processes in relation to the music (lyrics and melody respectively), the libretto, and the production. The research permits conclusions regarding the possible practices to utilize in creating new student works like Of Leto.

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  • 2016-05

The Language of Beatboxing: The Education of Vocal Percussion

Description

In modern music and theater education, there is a lack of basic understanding for the "rhythm" aspect in artistic performance. Through my upbringing in musical theater and the a cappella

In modern music and theater education, there is a lack of basic understanding for the "rhythm" aspect in artistic performance. Through my upbringing in musical theater and the a cappella music world in my community, I realized there was an opportunity to fill the gap with teaching beatboxing. By applying vocal percussion to a theater or music curriculum, it would provide a new, creative outlet for young artists by allowing them to explore their capabilities in artistic performance as well as help them flex new muscles for diction and expression training. I created a vocal percussion "language", a basic notation system that would help students learn and retain their beatboxing training through an extra layer of communication and memorization. I conducted a two day Vocal Percussion Seminar where artists could come and learn about the history and origins of beatboxing, the basic sounds in beatboxing, proper warm-ups for building an individual's skills, how to write and practice vocal percussion notation, and practice vocal percussion performance with beatboxing technology. I created two worksheets as visual aids the workshop: A "Sounds of Beatboxing" worksheet identifying where certain beatboxing sounds occur in the mouth and a "Vocal Percussion Notation" worksheet that can be used as a visual aid for crafting and practicing beatboxing according to the notation guidelines. The intention of this seminar is to be a "Phase One", a version that can be updated and changed for future evolution in education styles and beatboxing knowledge. Despite challenges in attendance and circumstances, "Phase One" of the seminar was a success. In my final paper, I discuss my inspiration for the seminar, the rise of beatboxing's presence in theater, the trends of language and rhythm in artistic performance, the tools behind beatboxing, the application of the International Phonetic Alphabet and Knight-Thompson Speechwork, the workshop's development process, the results of the first phase of the seminar, my plan of action for the seminar's future. Everyone has the tools to generate a powerful and impactful performance, but it is how you use the tools to craft your final product.

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  • 2017-05

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Flop!

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This thesis explores the various reasons that Broadway musicals fail, or "flop". It goes into detail on several musicals of different genres, and explains what their shortcomings were, whether it

This thesis explores the various reasons that Broadway musicals fail, or "flop". It goes into detail on several musicals of different genres, and explains what their shortcomings were, whether it be a less-than-perfect book, a weak score, or a production team that was not experienced in the skills that it takes to put together a musical. It discusses how long the shows ran for, or if they ever made it into a Broadway house. It looks at what the audience reception was like for each show, and whether the shows were a success with the tough critics of Broadway. In addition to this, I have recorded several of my peers performing songs from the musicals I have discussed in the written portion of this thesis. This helps to educate an audience on what it would have been like for one of the flop's real performances. The videos also do a wonderful job of communicating what the show sounds like, and how it can make an audience feel or react. Lastly, it gives more insight into why the musicals they are from failed to thrive in front of a Broadway audience. Through my research, I have discovered that creating a musical is possibly one of the most difficult feats a team of creative people can accomplish. There are countless reasons for failure in these shows, but overall, I feel that every failure had something to offer, and because of that, are surely worth celebrating.

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  • 2018-05

“Connection in an Isolating Age: ” The Changing Landscape of Live Theater During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Through this creative project, I analyzed how COVID-19 has affected the theatre industry. I created a mini-documentary following ASU’s production of Runaways, which was performed without an audience. The final

Through this creative project, I analyzed how COVID-19 has affected the theatre industry. I created a mini-documentary following ASU’s production of Runaways, which was performed without an audience. The final product was a combination of pre-filmed and self-taped scenes. I documented how students were still able to learn and cultivate their skills during a time where most things are virtual. In addition, I analyzed how the shift to filmed theatre has changed the definition of live theatre, including increased accessibility. I also explored the importance of theatre through analyzing the themes of musical theatre performances such as Rent and Runaways. During a time where people cannot gather, artists are still finding a way to create and tell stories.

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  • 2021-05