Theatre and Film, Johnny Carson School of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Fine Arts, Major: Theatre Arts, Under the Supervision of Professor Harris Smith. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2010
Copyright 2010 Ryan Kathman


This work is my graduate thesis documenting the creative process behind my performance of the role of Edgar in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s 2009 production of King Lear by William Shakespeare. It is comprised of five sections including an introduction, pre-rehearsal research, rehearsal and performance journal, post-production responses and conclusion. The introduction outlines my impressions of Edgar and King Lear prior to researching or rehearsing the role. In my research section, I attempt to better understand Shakespeare, his play and the role of Edgar by studying the playwright’s life and the history of the character and play, while also making the case for my own pre-rehearsal interpretation of Edgar. My rehearsal journal records my thoughts, discoveries and struggles during the weeks leading up to and including the production’s two-week run. The response section includes my interviews with faculty members of my thesis committee and their feedback on my performance. Finally, my conclusion attempts to synthesize and explore my final thoughts regarding the entire process.
Advisor: Harris Smith