Still, Voice

Open Access
Author:
Botts, Eric Andrew
Area of Honors:
General Arts and Sciences
Degree:
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Gerard Champagne, Thesis Supervisor
  • John Gerard Champagne, Honors Advisor
  • Kim Todd, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • theatre
  • theater
  • drama
  • play
  • literature
  • creative writing
  • dream
  • myth
  • brecht
  • beckett
  • kushner
Abstract:
“Still, Voice” is a one-act play about a young man trying to deal with the recent death of his brother through dream analysis and by mapping religious myths onto his own life. In the spring of 2012, I produced, directed, and acted in two performances of “Still, Voice” with a cast of twelve at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College’s Studio Theatre. I adapted the play from a personal essay titled, “Myths in Petrification.” The process of that adaptation led me to write what I now refer to as a dramatic essay, a nonfiction play with the meditative structure of a personal essay. The critical preface introducing “Still, Voice” begins with an explanation and definition of the dramatic essay. I then offer notes on acting and directing the dramatic essay, and I discuss the processes of writing, producing, and directing the play. Next I examine the nature of the dramatic essay form and its place in the history of dramatic theatre. After that, I discuss two of my major influences in writing “Still, Voice,” Samuel Beckett and Bertoldt Brecht, and how I see their work echoed in “Still, Voice.” The most significant of these influences are the more poetical and imagistic qualities of Beckett’s work and the decidedly intellectual qualities of Brecht’s. I close the preface with a discussion of genre, how I use it as part of my writing process, and the ways in which this play emerged from my willingness to play with generic conventions.