Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Drama (MFA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Theatre

Advisor

Mavourneen Dwyer

Committee Member

Kate Frank

Second Committee Member

Gail Leftwich

Keywords

Communication and the Arts; Drama; The Adding Machine

Abstract

In Elmer Rice's expressionistic play,The Adding Machine, the character of Mrs. Zero is written to forego authenticity and highlight a husband's absurd perception of his wife. The elements of expressionism in the play paint Mrs. Zero as a caricature rather than a person. In order to effectively portray this caricature, role-preparation must be rooted in realism. It is by connecting organically with Mrs. Zero's underlying truth that the portrayal of this absurd character can be made effective. Here, I attempt to find a balance between realistic role-preparation and expressionistic style of performance. My efforts are documented through journal entries which span the audition, rehearsal, performance and post-performance processes.

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