Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

School of Theatre and Dance

Advisor(s)

Ben Lambert

Terry Dean

Zachary A. Dorsey

Abstract

Theatre for the Community: A Practical Application

This paper serves to synthesize and reflect upon my Creative Honors Capstone project entitled “Theatre for the Community: A Practical Application.” The initial steps of the project included research into community based theatre and community outreach. This research was then used to inspire the process necessary for a fully realized production of Annie Baker’s Body Awareness, structured with community collaboration in mind. In this way, Body Awareness’ process acted as my first attempt at the practical application of my research. This paper both acts as the exploration of the concept of creating and choosing theater for a particular community (JMU), and provides a self-reflective account of my directing work on Body Awareness. My project will seek to address the following questions, which will serve as section headings throughout this paper, in order:

1. How can we choose a community that we want to work with, while also choosing the vehicle or methods of working to appropriately address the needs of that community?

2. How can we best structure pre-production and rehearsals to include outside perspectives, voices, and collaborators?

a. How can quality theatre be produced with the needs of a community in mind?

3. How can we transform the act of watching a performance into an active learning experience?

a. How can we successfully diversify our audience through community outreach, so that our message reaches those outside of our theatre family?

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