Author

Jordan Frye

Date of Award

2012

First Advisor

Karen Beaumont

Second Advisor

Maryann Tebben

Third Advisor

Wendy Shifrin

Abstract

The first part of my thesis is a series of responses to four writers: Pushkin, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and a Czech author named Bohumil Hrabal. My teachers in Moscow, Russia during my study abroad firmly believed that we could not learn to create theater without reading these works, although they never fully explained why. It turns out that Russian acting students are forced to be well-acquainted with these authors because they are considered the masters of storytelling and of character development. In Russia, one learns how to tell a story from them, before telling one’s own. I loved my readings, but I began to ask myself many questions about the nature of the stories. Why are there virtually no classical female storytellers? How are female characters written by men different from real women? If storytelling itself is dominated by men, might there be a feminine version of how to tell a story? What would a woman’s theater look like, if all stories were told by and about women?

I spent the second half of my thesis creating and performing a show called Something Like It, about two very young women who explore the limits and depths of their relationship within the framework of an at-home abortion. I sought to answer the questions that had been raised for me during my research, while drawing inspiration from the Russian works that I so respected.

The written thesis itself ties the two components together in one quest for the telling of an authentically feminine story.

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