Date Thesis Awarded

5-2011

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Theatre, Speech & Dance

Advisor

Laurie J. Wolf

Committee Member

Elizabeth Wiley

Committee Member

Brett Wilson

Committee Member

Richard H. Palmer

Abstract

Tom Stoppard is a modern playwright who is concerned with absurdism, metatheatricality, and language as tools to explore the nature and definitions of reality. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Stoppard's first major work, focuses on all of these themes' and is specifically one of Stoppard's most theatrical plays. Doubling is a longstanding theatrical tradition in which one actor portrays multiple characters within a dramatic work. Doubling began as a practical method to stage large-cast productions with reduced economic cost, but was also used in more conceptual ways --a practice that disappeared in the Victorian era. Over the past century, various directors have rediscovered thematic ways to use doubling, making daring implications about politics, sexuality, and history and offering alternate interpretations to classic works. However, I strongly believe that since doubling is intensely metatheatrical, it can be used on its own, not only to illuminate other concepts, but to point out its own theatrical implications. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a work that traditionally "requires" anywhere from twenty to forty actors, yet its metatheatrical implications could be greatly strengthened by the use of doubling. For that reason, this thesis, in conjunction with the process of directing a production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, will examine how Stoppard's first masterpiece could be thematically strengthened by the use of doubling.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Comments

Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

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