Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Theatre Arts

Committee Chair

Thomas, Lundeana Marie, 1949-

Author's Keywords

Communication and the arts


Acting; Norman, Marsha. 'Night, mother; Norman, Marsha--Characters--Jessie Cates


This thesis is the progression of the knowledge, skill, and insight of an actress in the Theater Arts Department as she was in pursuit of a Master of Fine Arts Degree. This knowledge, skill and insight culminated in the performance of the role of Jessie Cates from "'Night, Mother" by Marsha Norman. The character was analyzed from research in books, articles, documents, and websites. Research about depression and suicide also informed the actress to assist her in the characterization of the role. A relationship in the play was developed by creating a personal relationship between the two actors. Exercises from voice and movement classes contributed to the performance. Challenges with the character included vocal projection, energy, status, and the understanding of the character's mental and emotional disorders. This thesis includes the actor's growth through class work, research, and performance. The entire experience served to build the confidence of the actress.