Document Type

Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Embargo Period

5-7-2018

Degree Program

Theater

Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2018

Month Degree Awarded

September

Abstract

This written portion of my thesis documents how I, as director, conceptualized, devised and staged an immersive adaptation of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play, with the support of a large team of collaborators including: assistant directors, dramaturgs, designers, stage managers, and actors. In this document I attempt to synthesize the discoveries I made in this process regarding the challenges and experience of directing immersive theater, including the importance of giving up directorial control and relying on my collaborators as partners in the creation of the production.

I begin with an introduction to the research I conducted into the field of immersive theater as well as my research on the work of August Strindberg, with a specific emphasis on the themes and context of A Dream Play. I then describe how I led my creative team through the process of designing a devised immersive theater production by encouraging open communication and fostering an atmosphere of trust. I also discuss the casting process and my efforts to establish an autonomous ensemble by allowing the actors to choose their own parts, write their own scripts, and devise their own scenes. I reflect on how I navigated the unpredictable nature of immersive theater, through a careful balance between detailed planning and free exploration, all the while embracing the possibility of failure as an expected part of the process. Finally, I attempt to assess the success of the production through examination of the impact it had on its audiences based on my own personal observations, as well as feedback collected through formal methods of survey.

First Advisor

Regina Kaufmann

Second Advisor

Gilbert McCauley

Third Advisor

Harley Erdman

Fourth Advisor

Amy Altadonna

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