theatre, solo performance, Emily Dickinson, Belle of Amherst, one-woman show, historical character, play, dramaturgy, William Luce
This thesis will document the process of rehearsing and performing a one-woman show based on the life of the poet Emily Dickinson. The script is a cutting of the full-length play, The Belle of Amherst, written in 1976 by William Luce. This self-directed project will document the process that all actors use when developing a role. The first part of developing a role includes historical research, character analysis, and script analysis. The second phase is the rehearsal process. This includes developing the physical and vocal qualities of the character and staging the action of the play. Because this performance is self-directed and self-produced, this thesis will also discuss production aspects that a director or producer usually addresses: set design, lighting, sound design, costuming, publicity, and dramaturgy. A portion of the thesis is also devoted to analyzing the cuts made to the script, a task normally reserved for a playwright. A one-person show has some unique challenges for a performer. These challenges involve making choices about how to interact with the audience, how to transition from scene to scene, and how to incorporate imaginary characters into a one-sided conversation. The question of how to portray an historical figure in an accurate and entertaining way will also be discussed.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Raskin, Janet Sue, "The Belle Of Amherst: Developing A Solo Performance" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3311.