Acting, new works, new plays, new play development, the exit interview, acting technique, world premiere
U.S. Theatre is often noted for its commitment to new play development. Since Eugene O’Neill, America has fostered a tradition of celebrating emerging playwrights and their bold, edgy new works through countless development programs such as festivals, new play readings, grant programs, workshops, and world premieres. Although in recent years new-play development has seen a steady decline in funding (Levitow 2), it remains a cornerstone of American identity and an essential medium for pushing boundaries in theatre, both culturally and artistically. New-play development is indispensable for keeping theatre relevant in our everchanging culture. For my thesis, I explore the process of developing a new play from an actor’s perspective. The role of the director, dramaturg and producer of a new play is often discussed; however the importance of the actor throughout the development process is sometimes overlooked. There are many configurations of artistic teams assembled to develop a new play; therefore, I do not suggest there is one type of team that is best or one type of role for the actor to play within the team. My aim was to collaborate with the playwright, director and fellow actors to discover what is required of an actor in all phases of new play development. I applied the principles learned to my own work in the World Premiere of The Exit Interview by William Missouri Downs at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre in Partnership with The University of Central Florida. As I navigated my way through the artistic process of developing a new work, I discovered some ‘best practices’, which I employed throughout the rehearsal and performance iii process to further my own skills. I will discuss the development process I experienced, as objectively as possible, outlining the key best practices for an actor working in a collaborative team to develop a new play.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Butler, Lauren, "Developing New Works For The Stage: An Actor's Perspective" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 2518.