Date Approved

9-2-2005

Embargo Period

8-9-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Theatre

Department

Theatre & Dance

College

College of Performing Arts

First Advisor

Hostetter, Elisabeth

Subject(s)

Actors--Psychology; Theater rehearsals

Disciplines

Theatre and Performance Studies

Abstract

This study examines the idea of "flow," the state of optimal experience, and determines how it relates to theatrical performance. Using the methodology presented in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, I examine the rehearsal and performance processes of theatre in terms of the steps needed to reach a state of optimal experience. I specifically look at the issues of repeatability (reaching the state of flow night after night), consciousness (awareness), self-consciousness and concentration. In addition, I discuss options performers have for receiving feedback as theorized in the works of Anne Bogart, Constantin Stanislavski, David Mamet and interviews conducted with professional actors, George DiCenzo and Ellen Tobie. Although tracing the steps to flow can help performers improve and give them an insight into their successes and failures, performers are merely human and may not reach the zone every night.

Share

COinS