Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Theatre Arts

Committee Chair

Burton, Nefertiti

Author's Keywords

Black; Technique; Plays; The spirit; Artist; Acting


African American actors--Kentucky--Louisville; Gay actors--Kentucky--Louisville; Acting


The life of an African American male homosexual artist, making his way in the theatre of America, is one of paradox. It is comprised of a litany of limited choices which also stay in flux. Yet in this void of choice, one must find a way to stay true to oneself, his racial heritage, and sexual/spiritual core. An artist of color, he must try to maintain this firm foundation while working as a commercial artist in the white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalistic, hetero-normative culture that is the American theatre. The signs of blackness that are intended, given, and received by my audiences vary greatly. In my sojourn at the University of Louisville, I have played many roles that have strengthened, broken, and confused archetypal black stereotypes. This thesis will explore and analyze my journey. Chapter 1 explains my start in acting, my birth as an artist, the mentors who inspired me and fostered the genesis of my artistic passion, the formation of my aesthetic sense as an artist, and my reasons for deciding to go to graduate school and further my academic exploration of acting. Chapter 2 includes an analysis of three roles I have played at the University of Louisville, examining them through the lens of rehearsal, production, and the signs intended and perceived through my performance. Chapter 3 describes my thesis role. A full examination of my process, the character analysis of the role, the rehearsal, and revelations found during the process. Chapter 4 discusses performance and the direction my thesis role has traveled. My journey as the character is explored there. Chapter 5 details what is next for me artistically and what I leave behind for future graduate students.