Date Approved

7-16-2003

Embargo Period

5-4-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Theatre

Department

Theatre & Dance

College

College of Performing Arts

First Advisor

Hostetter, Elisabeth

Subject(s)

Pocahontas, -1617--Drama; Pocahontas (Motion picture)

Disciplines

Theatre and Performance Studies

Abstract

This study compares the content of play The One Called Pocahontas to the Walt Disney film Pocahontas. The author examined the accepted history of the Powhatan woman known as Pocahontas in relation to the "infotainment" provided by both the play and the movie. The study examines the objections to the Walt Disney movie Pocahontas and poses them as motivating factors for the Powhatan tribe's decision to use theatre to respond to the inaccuracies they perceived in the movie. The primary research methods of the study include an analysis of existing literature and internet sites about Pocahontas, an interview with the playwright, and reviews of the play and the movie. The study concludes that the play The One Called Pocahontas is an effective tool for presenting a version of history more authentic than the Disney film Pocahontas. While theatre, by nature an ephemeral art, could not generate an audience of the magnitude of the Disney movie, the success of the play, measured by the interpersonal connections between the actor and the audience, proves noteworthy.

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