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On the death of character : a metatheatrical tragedy

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Oswin, LJ 2007 , 'On the death of character : a metatheatrical tragedy', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The project explores the possibility of redefining metatheatre as a theatrical genre, introducing the idea of 'meta' in relation to the arts and in particular theatre. Meta is discussed as a concept which, when applied as a prefix, describes how an art form works, and can be interpreted, one level beyond itself. Metatheatre allows a higher level of understanding of the performance being viewed by creating recognisable links with an audience's prior knowledge and experience of theatre. Metatheatre further emphasises this understanding by establishing recognition of the recognition process through interaction with the cultural web.
The exegesis furthers the debate about the status of metatheatre as either dramatic device or theatrical genre through an analysis of the works of Richard Homby (Drama, Metadrama & Perception 1986), Lionel Abel (Metatheatre -A New View Of Dramatic Form 1963 and Tragedy & Metatheatre - Essays On Dramatic Form 2003) and my own observations and findings.
The project, through exegesis, script and staged production, identifies and discusses the key devices and themes involved in the creation of metatheatre as well as the delivery and effectiveness of these devices and themes. Through this analysis a clearer definition of metatheatre is offered, in which dramatic device and thematic concern are given equal importance. The effectiveness of the integration and correlation between device and theme within metatheatrical works is analysed and found to be crucial in the delivery of successful metatheatre. From this analysis the purpose of metatheatre within current and contemporary societies is also presented and argued.
My own creative works and processes are analysed in relation to this new definition, and discussion of my own metatheatrical process is highlighted as a key component in my major creative work, 'On The Death Of Character'. This work deals with the death of the nai"ve character and birth of the playwright or metatheatrical character in an autobiographical style. Key points of discussion within this work include an analysis of inspiration and the metatheatrical importance of writer's block. The play is essentially concerned with the role of the playwright within metatheatre.
My own metatheatrical style comes under scrutiny in both the exegesis and in the scripted and staged work as I explore concepts such as the illusion\reality conundrum and the reverse babushka effect in both a creative and theoretical manner.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Oswin, LJ
Keywords: Play within a play, Drama
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2007 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

DVD contains accompanying material. Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2007. Includes bibliographical references. Ch. 1. Meta -- Ch. 2. When device equals genre -- Ch. 3. Metatheatre & the cultural web -- Ch. 4. Under the bonnet with Hornby -- Ch. 5. Into the psycyhe with Abel -- Ch. 6. The mechanist and the mind -- Ch. 7. Oswinism -- Ch. 8. Metaexegesis -- Conclusion

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