Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Theatre Arts

Degree Program

Theatre Arts, MFA

Committee Chair

Burton, Nefertiti

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Calvano, Jenn

Committee Member

Calvano, Jenn

Committee Member

Hall, Ann

Author's Keywords

exuberance; energy; Baltimore; theatre; acting; guide


This thesis documents my discovery of exuberance as the key to a successful performance and reveals the challenges I faced in developing a character whose major actions in the play fall into the category of masking (i.e. hiding, avoiding, dodging). I define exuberance and discuss how I came to understand that sustaining exuberance requires a great deal of technical expertise specifically in acting, movement and voice in order to accommodate the demands of the character. I contend that exuberance also requires commitment and nurturing of the actor’s personal artistic vision. This thesis will discuss some of the difficulties I faced in building the character, Shelby Wilson; the application of class work that served me best in rehearsal; and the evolution of trust needed in the text, the ensemble and myself.