Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Title

School

Preferred Name - First Author

Carter, Melissa

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

School of Theatre and Dance

Advisor(s)

Zachary Dorsey

Dennis Beck

Ingrid DeSanctis

Abstract

This project asked the question: What is the role of the undergraduate liberal arts institution in American society, now? I initially searched for answers through secondary research. This did not provide me with a single, concrete answer, but contextualized the topic and showed me that there is a multitude of roles that the university plays in society. I then formed and trained an ensemble and together we explored these roles through group discussion and exhaustive improvisation. Out of the many answers that presented themselves, we focused on the concept that the primary purpose of the university is to create the ideal democratic citizen. This proposition raised more questions such as: how does the university select who is fit to be developed? How do they go about developing these students? And what defines the ideal democratic citizen? Our presentation was an eight hour long site-specific performance art piece called School. It was composed primarily of long-form improvisational games. In the end, we not only learned an enormous amount about the university but also gained experience creating a durational performance and through all of this expanded our understanding of the relationship between the content and the structure of a theatrical piece.

 
 

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