Contemporary models of educational and commercial theatres espouse the belief that theatre is the true collaborative art form: one in which artists of different talents, training programs, and experiences can come together to briefly create something more significant than themselves. However, as the theatre has moved into the twenty-first century, the ensemble nature that is so unique to theatrical performance is frequently abandoned for a streamlined top-down structure of theatre making, one in which monetary, scheduling, and efficiency concerns inhibit the true creation of an ensemble. For multi-faceted theatre artists who have interest and talents in more than one field of the theatre, the current reigning structure of theatrical creation can seem restrictive, even reductive to their creative potentials. In this thesis, I explore a revived form of theatrical creation centered around the concept of the total ensemble artist, or the modern-day equivalent to the Renaissance man, an artist and student of many different passions. By developing a model of theatrical creation that allows and encourages an actor's agency in the creative process, I hope to show that the ensemble approach to theatre making, in which actors must work together to create and support a production in intimate and challenging ways, is beneficial and necessary to both theatre artists and the audiences that come to view theatrical productions. Rather than being limited to the confines of the categorized and structured model of commercial theatre, these artists will be able to work together to create individualized, meaningful stories on stage that allow the theatre to remain influential, relevant, and representational of our collective experiences.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Grassett, Kody, "Rebirth of the Renaissance Man: Creating Actor Agency through Ensemble Theatre" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5734.