Author

Jordan Lome

Date of Award

2014

First Advisor

Joan DelPlato

Second Advisor

Aimee Michel

Third Advisor

Paul Naamon

Abstract

In this thesis, I argue that the significance of the dramatization of folklore, in international and local contexts, resides in its expression of shared cultural values. The will to preserve these folk performances is in line with protecting our worldly artistic heritage, although the means of safeguarding them through tourism is controversial. I look first to Asia, utilizing my experiences in having witnessed Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong, Water Puppetry in Vietnam, and Kathakali in India as examples of folk performances undergoing specific changes in the process of connecting with audiences affected by globalization. Locating this process in a national context, I have written, directed, and produced an original play, The Hitchhiker of Route 44, based on the contemporary folk tale of the same name from the region of Western New England, to communicate how transmitting folklore through theater is a shared experience, regardless of an audience’s individual “source culture.” By focusing specifically on the dramatization of folklore in cultural performance, I aim to scrutinize the links between intangible performance heritages of communities and their cultures.

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