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)

Kelly, Baron

Committee Member

Kelly, Baron

Committee Member

Smith, Siobhan

Author's Keywords

labor; happiness; fences; labor and happiness; theatre arts; Tyler Madden


This thesis reflects my process and my development of performing Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s Fences. I will be exploring the parallels that I have found on the concept of labor, between the history of labor as a black man in America and the labor of an actor. More specifically, I will be explaining my process in finding happiness in the laboring process of building a character. This is also an exploration of how I transformed myself from a 29-year-old black man to a 53-year-old black man. Also, transitioning from a black man in the 21st century, to a black man who was born in the early 1900’s and lived in the 1950’s.