2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Deriving meaning in theatre – a philosophical investigation concerning the creative groups involved in the formation of a theatre production.

The theories that attempt to explain the derivation of meaning in art concerning the individual usually assume the original creator is one individual. Theatre however always contains three distinct creative groups in the formulation of a play. This dissertation aims to examine how theatre stands out amongst other art forms in the derivation of meaning due to the distinct creative groups involved in a theatre production.

I will be taking an autoethnographcial approach by applying the concepts to a performance of Hamlet that I was in and, by examining that experience, hopefully see if such theories accurately apply to theatre.

2010 Abstracts Stage 3

Director’s Role of ‘Delivering’ a Play with Heidegger’s Philosophy of Art and Truth

Art enables us to interpret the world around us; just as Philosophy encourages us to understand our being in-existence. This project aims to discuss the way in which the art of theatre encourages us to reflect upon the world through a director’s recreation of reality upon a stage.

Heidegger’s notion of ‘being-in-the world’ and language in his work Being and Time, encourages us as beings to come to terms with the idea of Being, otherwise known as Dasein. From this, we are able to grasp the true nature of our existence.

I aim to pay close attention to the Artistic Director Sam Walters of the theatre in-the-round: The Orange Tree Theatre. Being-in-the-theatre is a process of entertainment, whereby as an audience we are faced with characters and scenarios that touch upon aspects of our own lives. Hence, there exists a fine line between forms of real life and the features of ‘make-believe’.

In order to connect the art of theatre with Heidegger’s philosophy, I aim to explore the concept of Being and art in his work The Origin of the Work of Art and Julian Young’s Heidegger’s Philosophy of Art, both of which consider and examine:
– The ‘origin’ of an art-work.
– The unconcealment of a ‘world’ via the metaphysical relationship between ‘earth and world’; shown through the Greek Temple.
– The notion of truth [Wahrheit] revealed through an art-work.

In order to test Heidegger’s thought on language, art and Being, I aim to discuss Alan Ayckbourn’s farcical creation of Taking Steps; a play that explores modern-day issues such as marriage and alcohol. As an audience, we recognise aspects of a ‘taboo’ subject-matter, but preserve our comfort-zone through laughter.

I aim to conclude, that through ‘being-in-the-theatre’ with Heidegger’s Philosophy, we essentially examine our world; and thus come to terms with the truth of our ‘being-in-the-world’.

2009 Abstracts Stage 2

Acting-analysis: “Emotional Memory” as a Theatrical Interpretation of Psychoanalysis

In my project, I will examine the process of acting, and the emotional experience of becoming a character. Physically looking the part is very different to mentally becoming the part. Stanislavski’s ‘Emotional Memory’ encourages an actor to recall their own memories in order to create a realistic interpretation of a role. Therefore, one must remove themselves from their ‘true self’ in order to create a ‘new self’. From this, I believe an actor must consciously explore their subconscious. Therefore, this concept can be associated with Freud’s examination of the human psyche. Thus, I will compare Emotional Memory with Psychoanalysis. Like actors, Freud’s patients must explore their unconscious. I will examine Psychoanalysis, whereby the relationship between the patient and analyst is crucial for an effective treatment. From this, I will examine ‘free association’ and ‘unconscious formations’: both central features of this Freudian system, aiding the patient on a laborious journey of recovery. Whether in theatre or film, I believe there is a danger in acting. One must be extremely careful in adapting their mentality when becoming a character, in order to remain secure in their ‘true self’. Occasionally, an actor’s addiction to his role can become detrimental, as seen through Heath Ledger’s tragic death in 2008. It is argued that the extreme depth of his role of The Joker in The Dark Knight, combined with his perfect interpretation, led him towards self-destruction. Through acting, one must Psychoanalyse your ‘own self’, when creating a ‘new self’. However, one must be consciously aware of the complexity of the process, and thus intentionally maintain your own mentality.

2004 Abstracts Stage 2

How has modernism and post modernism affected places of public entertainment, such as the theatres in and around Newcastle?

Explain what modernism is and how philosophers have described modernism and the way it produced post modernism. 2. A conclusion as to what I conclude postmodernism to be after reading and exploring philosopher’s notes. 3. How does modernism and post modernism affect the architecture? 4. Choose examples in and around Newcastle and Gateshead that I can compare and explore as to whether they have been affected by modernism and postmodernism. 5. Visit the few places of interest and explore their history. 6. Conclude as to whether modernism and post modernism has actually affected those areas that I have chosen to explore. SOURCES: Books: The theatres royal in Newcastle upon Tyne – Oswald Capitalism and Modernity – Goody The post modern and the post industrial – M.A Rose Post modernity – Barry Smart Max Weber and Post-modern theory – N.Gane Social and Cultural Forms of Modernity – B. Bocock And K.Thompson Visits: Gateshead Visitor Centre – The Sage, Gulbenkian Theatre, Theatre Royal – Grey Street

2004 Abstracts Stage 2

Marxism: how it changed theatre forever

A production by Gemma Madden featuring: – an exploration into the rise of marxism – a study into theatre from the greeks to Marx – Brecht’s new theatre and its aim to change the world – the decline of political theatre today ‘a view into the rise and fall of political theatre’

2003 Abstracts Stage 3

Nowhere to Run – Trapped in the American Dream?

The Dream. . . .‘Do I have to change my name? Will it get me far? Should I lose some weight? Am I gonna be a star? I’m just living out the American dream and I realized that nothing is what it seems. . .’ These lyrics are taken from Madonna’s recent song ‘American Life’ highlight our society’ pre-occupation with achieving the ‘American dream.’ The car, the house, the family, the job and the respect of friends all constitute our life’s aspirations, what we value and most of all what we fear that we not achieve. In my project I have explored the following objectives and idea of the American dream, highlighting it through Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, and Louis Begley’s novel About Schmidt and using the lyrics from Madonna’s song American Life. OBJECTIVES: ~ What constitutes the American Dream and how, or if, it has altered over time. ~The relation of its concept to the philosophies of Sartre, such as fear, freedom, emotions and existence ~How these concepts are related to the main character’s in Death of a Salesman and About Schmidt ~Whether we have a choice in our quest to achieve it or whether we have become ‘trapped’ by its rules. ~To what extent do we have any freedom and how this aspiration affects our existence ~Is the American Dream really the most satisfactory state to be in? The humiliation that Willy experiences as a result of not quite achieving this dream drives him to take his own life. With arguments over the importance of attaining the American dream aside, this single incident demonstrates the power and influence of it over today’s society. The question is, are we trapped, is there really ‘nowhere to run’ or is it up to us to change our values?