Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

5-2019

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.F.A.

Department

Theatre Arts

Degree Program

Theatre Arts, MFA

Committee Chair

Kelly, Baron

Committee Member

Segal, Janna

Committee Member

Hall, Ann C.

Abstract

In 2018, I played Hortensio in a production of The Taming of the Shrew that took place among the businessmen in the America of 1963. This thesis centers on the strategies and tactics I employed in the portrayal of Hortensio, a moneyed, middle aged, single man who impersonates a music tutor to seduce the much younger Bianca. In my research I investigated the archetype of the advertising executive of the era. The world views of these men upheld the post-war conception of American exceptionalism, and in their occupations were adept at manipulation free of the fear of consequences. Hortensio is specifically based on advertising pioneer (and nephew of Sigmund Freud) Edward Bernays, whose often morally dubious publicity stunts led to the popularization of smoking among women.

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