Title

The Personal and Civic Importance of Performance

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

As a student of theatre I have battled with my perception of art as firstly self-serving and consequently valuable to others. Through the study, research, rehearsal, and ultimately performance of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches with the School of Theatre and Dance, I began considering the influence a performance has on the individual and the community. I sought to challenge my idea of art and specifically theatre as selfish and hoped to find ways that supported actors as generous, functioning as canvases painted on by the text, the production concepts, and the audience responses. The actor then becomes the result of the endeavor instead of the self-serving force that drove it. This production was ideal for my investigation because the social issues contained in Kushner’s award winning play are of particular consequence to me. For that reason, and as a process of my craft, I spent several weeks exploring books, articles, and films about the period, the social issues, and other topics essential in telling Kushner’s story. Through rehearsals and performances I kept a journal documenting how my perspective changed from performer as the force affecting a performance to the performance as a force affecting the performer. Furthermore, I have discussed and will continue to discuss with the cast, crew, and community how this performance has affected them. I imagined a clean conclusion: yes, individuals are impressed upon by works of art; I found the gambit much wider and much messier. In discussing within the performer/performance relationship who is creator and who is creation, I will outline my transformation of judgment and my obligation to thoughtful, unselfish performance I have since felt. I also strive to share with others the inspiration to consider the impact art has on their community and themselves.

Category

Visual and Performing Arts (including Creative Writing)

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 2:40 PM Apr 11th, 3:00 PM

The Personal and Civic Importance of Performance

As a student of theatre I have battled with my perception of art as firstly self-serving and consequently valuable to others. Through the study, research, rehearsal, and ultimately performance of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches with the School of Theatre and Dance, I began considering the influence a performance has on the individual and the community. I sought to challenge my idea of art and specifically theatre as selfish and hoped to find ways that supported actors as generous, functioning as canvases painted on by the text, the production concepts, and the audience responses. The actor then becomes the result of the endeavor instead of the self-serving force that drove it. This production was ideal for my investigation because the social issues contained in Kushner’s award winning play are of particular consequence to me. For that reason, and as a process of my craft, I spent several weeks exploring books, articles, and films about the period, the social issues, and other topics essential in telling Kushner’s story. Through rehearsals and performances I kept a journal documenting how my perspective changed from performer as the force affecting a performance to the performance as a force affecting the performer. Furthermore, I have discussed and will continue to discuss with the cast, crew, and community how this performance has affected them. I imagined a clean conclusion: yes, individuals are impressed upon by works of art; I found the gambit much wider and much messier. In discussing within the performer/performance relationship who is creator and who is creation, I will outline my transformation of judgment and my obligation to thoughtful, unselfish performance I have since felt. I also strive to share with others the inspiration to consider the impact art has on their community and themselves.