The human eye can see approximately seven million different colors and within this vastly wide spectrum of refracting and reflecting light waves, an almost equal number of connotations have been attached to these various shades and tones. Whether originating from cultural histories, religious traditions, or a myriad of other sources, these associations succeed at quite literally coloring one's view of what is illuminated in front of them, especially when it comes to any and all attached emotional implications. This knowledge raises the question of how does an artist navigate not only the utilization of color in their work, but the awareness that their audience's perception of their final product will, in one way or another, be affected by the colors utilized within it? This thesis will not only research the societal histories, but the very psychology of color and its various effects on mankind. From the formulation of theories centering around conclusions drawn by this investigation, hypothetical theatrical productions will be used as case studies, directed through the lens of color theory, taking into consideration not only the utilized colors' effect on the story being told, but on the audience's overall experience. With a greater understanding of color theory, specifically in relation to the psychological effects it can have on people, an artist can utilize this knowledge to aid themselves in crafting an incredibly deep, enriching piece of theatre. The proper use of color, or even the intentional lack-there-of, working alongside the many other facets of modern-day stage shows, can transform a classic work into something entirely new just as an exploration into any facet of the human condition can yield wondrous results having a very poignant, tactile effect on the end product that one is seeking to produce, be it on the stage or anywhere else in life.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Norton, John, "Stages of Color: An Exploration of Drama Through a Chromatic Lens" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 108.