From caricature to character: An actor's approach to the role of Tess in Crazy For You
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This thesis fulfills the requirement for a Master of Fine Arts Degree capstone project. The nature of this task is to demonstrate the ability to audition for, be cast in, and perform in a significant role in a play or musical. This paper is a documentation of some of the necessary research and work involved in a special project of this nature. The document first looks at the lives of the authors and gives a brief overview of their contributions to the field. It asserts that, even though the Gershwin brothers had died before the creation of Crazy For You, their artistic voice was respected and utilized in the forming of this production. Therefore, I posit that the Gershwin brothers were posthumous collaborators on this project. I discuss Girl Crazy, the script on which Crazy For You is loosely based, pointing out some similarities and differences between the two productions. Next, this will address the Texas Tech University production, elaborating on technical and design elements as well as the director’s and actor’s approaches to the role of Tess. It also addresses how the choices made by the designers and the director helped to shape the character. The final chapter examines different acing choices and organizes them into five different categories: Tess’ function in the script, character traits found in the script, character traits inferred from the script, invented character traits, and character discoveries derived from the rehearsal process. This chapter further details how I developed Tess from the caricature provided in the text into the fully developed character in our production.