The Death of Beowulf: Exploring the Conception, Process, and Lessons of an Original Solo Performance Based on a Classic is the exploration of a performer's journey understanding how their own identity and aesthetic has been defined by other works of art and how it affects their creative expression. The author examines the nature of classics as culturally and personally formative texts, and how the artist's experiences and interpretation can potentially deliver fresh understandings of a familiar text. Then, by applying this to his own process of devising a script based on the epic poem Beowulf, he grapples with the challenges of encountering and freeing the authentic self to create art that reflects an honest refraction of the artist's experiences and interpretations. How does one adapt a classic text based on one's interpretation? What value does one's personal voice have in a centuries-old conversation about a classic? What challenges does solo performance present to the performance of a fictional work? How does one implement an identity-driven lens to craft a fictional character based on source material without sacrificing the exposure of self? By utilizing the techniques of Jerzy Grotowski and Michael Chekov's concept of creative individuality through the process of retelling a classic story, the author frames the necessary value of one's own personal aesthetic, interiority, and authenticity in creating personal and potent works of art.
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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)
Sneed, Jeffrey, "The Death of Beowulf: Exploring the Conception, Process, and Lessons of an Original Solo Performance Based on a Classic" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 562.