Date of Graduation

7-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre (MFA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Theatre

Advisor

Michael Riha

Committee Member

Weston Wilkerson

Second Committee Member

Shawn Irish

Keywords

Design, Scenic, Technical, Theatre, Thematic Layers, Visual Layers, Topdog, Underdog

Abstract

The 2019 production of Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks at the University of Arkansas was produced with a guest director who, throughout the process of the production, experimented with the typical perception of the Pulitzer Prize winning play and added conceptual spins to help open the eyes of the mostly small town and rural based audience. This thesis will explore the various elements of this particular production and which of these elements contributed to exploring the depths of Topdog/Underdog.

This document will analyze the design process of the University of Arkansas’s production of Topdog/Underdog, and will analyze specific design choices which were chosen to engender a specific audience response based upon observed audience commentary.

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