Jesus Alcazar

Date of Award


First Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer

Second Advisor

Aimee Michel


Central Question: How does expressing emotions in 1) the therapeutic context and 2) the artistic context (as when playing a theatrical role on stage)—impact how we experience our emotions? As well as how can contemporary neuropsychology help us to understand these impacts? This thesis compares the relationship between the actor and audience and between the therapist and patient, exploring the idea of vicarious catharsis. We will explore the nature of emotion and how these emotions are applied from our daily lives to a character in a play. I will be referencing my own experience as Creon in Simon’s Rock’s production of Antigone and using personal examples from my experience as well. I compare the idea of catharsis to the experience of transference, and countertransference, which is discussed in the thesis as well.

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