performance, fantasy, theatre, hysteria, acting, Artaud, spectacle, suffering
The performance of X: The Rise and Fall of an Asylum Star, in conjunction with my thesis document, investigates the dichotomy of fantasy and reality for a performer. I compare the creative and emotional journey of Augustine, a young woman hospitalized for hysteria, to my own journey as an actress. Augustine was also performer, for her doctors led her in public demonstrations of the symptoms of hysteria. Her "talent" for hysteria earned her notoriety and celebrity. She was coached and directed from her doctors to enhance her demonstrations. As a result, the validity and authenticity of her state was questionable. I compare the performative qualities of hysteria with my own states of drama as a performer and draw parallels between us, looking specifically at states of experience, both imagined and real.
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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)
Wilhite, Erika, "X: The Rise And Fall Of An Asylum Star (a Journey Of Two Actresses)" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 4154.