Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Theatre, Speech & Dance


Laurie J. Wolf

Committee Members

Varun Begley

Joan Gavaler

Richard H. Palmer


Masked performance offers many unique opportunities and possibilities to actors, and can also help guide audience reaction to theatrical content. The central question of this research is how the application of masked performance to a piece of theatre that is not generally performed in mask will affect the audience perception of identity in performance, and how it helps actors engage with a challenging text. Attempts on Her Life by Martin Crimp is an unconventional play; it does not specify the number of actors needed for the production, the division of lines, or how many characters there are. Further the 17 scenes which compose the show are seemingly disjointed, held together only by the recurrence of a woman named Anne. The research has focused on analysis of the text and historical context surrounding the play and playwright to justify and highlight the ways in which the masked performance is a choice that complements the piece. The choice to utilize masks, as well as the other directorial choices that necessitates, are then justified via an analysis of the text through multiple lenses of theory. The research also includes an account of the rehearsal and production process and concludes by analyzing audience and performer response to the production with specific regard to the effect of the masks.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only