Date Written

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Paper

Department

Theatre & Dance

Advisor

Dr. Jessie Glover

First Committee Member

Dr. Patricia Frick

Second Committee Member

Dr. Margaret Koehler

Keywords

Theatre, immersive, adaptation, literature

Subject Categories

Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory

Abstract

This project studied the effects of immersive theatre on an audience using a script adapted from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. This project explored how to best adapt a literary work into a performance piece, and rather than creating a traditional piece of theatre, creating an immersive work. The process included research in literature, new work creation, and theatre devising as well as the rehearsals and preparation necessary for the production. Using a small cast of Otterbein performance students, the piece was performed four times in one day with different audience groups in so that I could study how individuals reacted to immersive elements as well as how the audience group affected both the performance and their own experience. This study hypothesized a more intimate audience relationship to the work and received feedback from the piece in the form of written feedback cards and an online survey. Through this feedback, I found that immersive theatre developed a stronger sense of accountability within the audience members, and that this theatrical style can be both immersive as well as ostracizing depending on the willingness to participate and the temperament of each individual audience member.

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