Date Thesis Awarded

5-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Theatre, Speech & Dance

Advisor

Laurie Wolf

Committee Member

Francis Tanglo-Aguas

Committee Member

Amy Oakes

Abstract

Jose Rivera’s Marisol is a play about a world far different from and yet extraordinarily parallel to ours. This project, tied to both an honors thesis in the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance as well as a Senior Directorial in the PBK Studio Theatre investigated how this political play could be made less overwhelming to its audience and more focused on its central themes. To do so, the production team attempted to limit the play’s tendencies to overwhelm its audiences by focusing on the natural conditions opposed upon us by our location Williamsburg, use of collegiate resources, and Studio performance space. By uniting the play’s themes through Marisol’s journey of ethnicity, updating the political message to focus on economic concerns, downplaying Rivera’s overstated stances on gender and sexuality, filling out the characters’ arcs and relationships, and simplifying the plays visuals and symbols through the use of projections and a pared-down design aesthetic, we were able to play towards the strengths of our situation. In doing so, Rivera’s script lost much of its overwhelming quality and the universal themes of his work were allowed to shine.

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