An Historical Study For a Production Reconstructing Helen Keller's Vaudeville and Lecture Performances
Date of Graduation
Master of Arts
Theatre and Dance
Theatre and Performance Studies
Reconstructions offer a lively approach to theatrical research. This study addresses the research process leading to a reconstruction performance featuring an historical figure in a theatrical setting. By combining the positive characteristic of reconstructed performances with the popular biographical one-person show genre, this study examines the strengths and weaknesses of both forms. Following an introductory chapter, Chapter Two includes a discusssion of current studies in theatre history leading to reconstruction as an historical method. Specifically, this study provides a projected concept for reproducing an actual program presented by Helen Keller on the vaudeville circuit during the early 1920's. Chapter Three yields information on the documentation process necessary to produce a reconstructed performance and provides interpretation of the materials gathered. Chapter Four provides information on script compilation for reconstructed performances. Discussion of the acting-reconstruction process as well as aspects of technical staging also provides insight for those attempting reconstruction projects. Additionally, Chapter Four includes a discussion of audience reactions and perceptions of reconstructed performances as well as a discussion of common problems and benefits afforded audience members. The fifth and final chapter offers a summary and conclusion. The chapter also points directions for future research showing potential application for teaching history and performance.
© Karen Payne Malone
Malone, Karen Payne, "An Historical Study For a Production Reconstructing Helen Keller's Vaudeville and Lecture Performances" (1994). MSU Graduate Theses. 2478.