Michael Beaman, Manuel Puig, Kiss of the Spider Woman
Identity, who we are, is at the core of every human being, thus at the core of every character from every play. How the character identifies his self through gender and sexual identity will shape both physical and emotional choices that an actor will make through the rehearsal process. As an actor, it is absolutely imperative to resist the urge to pass judgment on the characters we portray. As more characters in modern drama are openly gay, there is an increasing urge for an actor to fall into campy stereotypes. Through a performance of the role of Molina in Manuel Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman, this thesis will examine the blurring line of gender identity of the leading man in contemporary drama and explore the challenges of portraying a feminine man in a non-stereotypical way, remaining true to the identification of the character. A thorough historical analysis presents a look at the evolution of the homosexual throughout modern drama, from self-loathing party boys of the seventies to ordinary fathers, husbands, and sons in modern households. A structural analysis of Puig's text will aid in the choices made by the actor. Lastly, a complete character analysis will examine the psychological motivations behind Molina's actions as well as the changes in his gender and sexual identity throughout the piece. This thesis will culminate in a comprehensive development, rehearsal and performance journal, which will document and address challenges, discoveries, failures and victories during the production process.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Beaman, Michael, "Like A Woman: Playing The Homosexual As Truth In Kiss Of The Spider Womana" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4147.