Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Theatre Arts

Degree Program

Theatre Arts, MFA

Committee Chair

Jones, Johnny

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Vandenbroucke, Russell

Committee Member

Vandenbroucke, Russell

Committee Member

Smith, Siobhan

Author's Keywords

Acting; Working; Outside; In; Byron; Coolie


This thesis serves as an examination (or exploration) of how an actor can approach a role by working from the outside in, also known as the external acting approach. This thesis also chronicles my beginnings as an actor and preparations for my thesis role as the character of Lymon Jackson in The Piano Lesson. In this thesis, I explain how I uncovered my growth, overcame challenges, failures, and successes in the role of Lymon. I elaborate on how I, initially an internal actor, externally approached a muscular and complex role for the very first time. Also, I describe my undergraduate training and the production experiences of my three-year graduate career at the University of Louisville leading into my thesis role. Finally, I advocate for how the external acting approach can help an actor take ownership of the role.