Date of Award

8-2013

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Intermedia

Advisor

Owen Smith

Second Committee Member

Naomi Jacobs

Third Committee Member

Leon Johnson

Abstract

The Pride and Prejudice Project is an exploration of the process of creating a low-budget, serious theatre production in which the premise is to cast actors who can act the roles and emulate the characters, but who would not be cast in a traditional professional theatre or film production based on some physical aspect, with a goal of this as a model for a permanent theatre company. Physical aspects include but are not limited to general appearance (weight, height, “anomalies”), race and ethnicity, sex and gender, and disability. In addition to the focus on casting, this project is also an exploration of the elements involved in staging a very low-budget production: securing a venue, costumes, props, public relations, and so forth. For this project, the choice of adapting Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice and using as a foundation a previous screenplay adaptation by Andrew Davies (the 1995 BBC miniseries), allows the director and cast to interpret and re-interpret the title from Austen’s original focus on class and wealth to a much wider scope. The production also explores which additional elements are successful. These include video and audio elements, original costume interpretation, use of discarded and donated items as costumes and props, the combination of various types of physical aspects represented, and a blending of time periods instead of staying true to Jane Austen’s Regency setting.

Pens, Pencils and Perception is an art installation highlighting nearly a year of collecting and documenting discarded writing implements. The exhibit, part of the Without Borders X: ”Re ” festival (August-September 2013) in the Lord Hall Gallery, University of Maine, will include the writing implements displayed in the condition in which they were found, but placed on podiums made out of recycled cardboard. Over one hundred documentary photographs of the writing implements in the condition and location that they were found will be displayed one by one on a slide show at one end of the gallery. Interspersed with these will be paragraphs written by the cast of The Pride and Prejudice Project describing their experience of the project and how they feel about the premise. The two thesis projects complement each other in that both are explorations of value perception: how it is formed and how it can be altered.

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