PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractKonstantin Stanislavsky said the theatre is the only place left where people can see true communication. Theatre strives for a sense of truth in interactions and relationships. Theatre is a field of immediate judgment because actors are judged the moment they set foot on stage; audiences need only a few moments to decide whether or not the actor's communication is genuine. Actors maintain the illusion of their fictional world through effective communication. Hence, whenever actors' onstage communication does not appear genuine, they have in a sense blown their cover, "When an individual [like an actor] enters the presence of others, they commonly seek to acquire information about him… [which helps the audience] define the situation, enabling [them] to know in advance… what they may expect of him" (Goffman, 1959). Audiences "buy" genuine communication behavior over behavior that appears false. Audiences judge the quality of the illusion by the quality of the communication. This thesis explores the maturation of onstage communication's collaborative skills of authentic listening, working off one another, and pace of the scenes. Although communication scholars like Milton Mayfield and Michael Kramer studied organizational hierarchy and negotiating roles within theatres, actors' abilities of working off one another is a relatively untapped communication phenomenon. There are few case studies exploring how onstage communication grows alongside an ensemble's development. This qualitative case study follows a theatre ensemble's growth from a set of strangers to a group of friends. Communication theories such as leadership styles theory and situational leadership theory work alongside acting communication theories from Sanford Meisner and Declan Donnellan. The researcher is an actor in the ensemble and a participant in the case study.
Degree ProgramHonors College