Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Theatre Arts

Committee Chair

Frye, Rinda Lee


Euripides--Bacchae; Euripides--Characters--Dionysus; Acting


This thesis is a personal examination of the process of creating, developing and portraying the character of Dionysus in University of Louisville's 1996 production of Euripides' The Bacchae. It begins with an examination of my acting process prior to study at the University of Louisville and focuses on learned skills which enabled me to meet challenges that I faced coming into this role. The latter part of this thesis examines the effect of my process on the outcome of the performance of the role. The five chapters of this thesis cover my approach to acting from the start of my career, through University, focusing on the thesis role, and it ends with my conclusions and application to my present work as a professional actor in New York. Chapter One addresses my first stage experiences, my first lessons at the University of Louisville and my struggle with stage fright, and lists what I believe to have been my strengths and weaknesses as an actor coming into the role. Chapter II describes my personal process for discovering how to approach character and specifically addresses these challenges: playing a role of opposite gender and sexual ambiguity, working with a movement and vocal style that was completely foreign to my formal training in University, and interpreting a contemporary translation of classic ancient Greek text through heightened delivery. Chapter Three details a seven-day mandatory workshop in Suzuki movement implemented as part of the style of the piece as per director, Bert Harris' vision, and includes excerpts from my personal journals from that period and throughout rehearsals. Chapter Four focuses on the challenges of the actual performance, specifically the full facemask and costume, and stage fright. Chapter V details how this role addressed the specific acting challenges listed at the end of Chapter I as well as the effects my acting process had on the development of the character of Dionysus, as per this production.