A man in the preparatory phase for parenthood with his first child can go through a lot of extreme emotional highs and lows, depending upon the man's economic, relationship, and physical status, as well as community pressures and support. In preparation to portray an array of prenatal fathers in a showcase of scenes, I have read an assortment of plays and scholarly sources. In reading a large sample of prenatal plays, I have extracted several possible emotional changes within a man's psyche. I also analyzed the social rationale behind these changes through the writings of sociologists and other scholarly sources. In addition to this research, I was going through my journey toward parenthood at the initiation of this research, as my child was born half way into the project. With the exploration of theatrical literature and sociological research paired with my personal experience of going through the prenatal phase, I have documented the changes a man may experience in his emotional growth. This time is full of differing anxieties that spring from the anticipation of change, while a man is preparing for parenthood. Through the medium of a showcase of theatrical scenes that are representations of the prenatal father, I explore the emotional journeys of several of these men and document my findings. As actors in theatre, we use the emotional life of characters to enlighten our choices in actions and tactics. These tactics are in service to the selfish goals we have as characters. The emotions the character has may act as either a driving force or an obstacle in obtaining our goals. When exploring the emotions of a pre-paternal man, one must consider all the variables in the creation of these emotions. In this project, I extract the emotions that a prenatal father may be vulnerable to and document for personal use as an actor presenting pre-paternal characters.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Nilsson, Michael, "From Dude to Dad: A Study on Prenatal Fatherhood and its Representation in Theatre" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5565.