Presentation Title

Historical Accuracy in Theatre

Presenter Information

Lily Gunther-CanadaFollow

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Major

Theatre Arts

Anticipated Graduation Year

2022

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Do you love historical dramas for the history, or for the drama? Those performances are far more fictional than fact, but research has shown that historical changes can seriously shape the knowledge of audience members. Why do writers change history in performance? Is it possible to write a play that is entirely true to history? In this presentation, I explore the limitations of historical accuracy in theatre in the creation of an original script, "Just Anne." By detailing the writing and workshop process, I examine questions about ethical theatremaking, archival work, dramatic technique, and more.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Dr. Robert Bucholz (History), Dr. Mark Lococo (Fine and Performing Arts)

Comments

One of the largest criticisms of historically-derived theatre is that playwrights do not record any edits, alterations, or additions made to the source material or history they may use in their play. To combat this issue, to record the play devising process, and to monitor the extent of "accuracy" in my writing, I created an annotated script alongside the version that was presented to the cast. Included here for your perusal, this document should offer further insight into the creation of "Just Anne" and the intersection between the historical analysis of primary sources and dramatic technique.

"Just Anne" Workshop Cast:

Olivia Ash, Olivia Schierbeck-Jones, Faith Hood, Emma Boles, Effie Rose, Maegan Pate, Brayden Turner, Levi Welch, Austin Murray, and Owen Fink; Stage Managed by Liv Sullam

Acknowledgments:

I would like to especially thank my mentors, Robert Bucholz and Mark Lococo, for their endless time and support. Additionally, I wish to thank Kevin and Wendy Gunther-Canada, Kelly Howe, Jose Santiago Perez, and the late Frances Harris for their contributions and support.

Creative Commons License

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

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Historical Accuracy in Theatre

Do you love historical dramas for the history, or for the drama? Those performances are far more fictional than fact, but research has shown that historical changes can seriously shape the knowledge of audience members. Why do writers change history in performance? Is it possible to write a play that is entirely true to history? In this presentation, I explore the limitations of historical accuracy in theatre in the creation of an original script, "Just Anne." By detailing the writing and workshop process, I examine questions about ethical theatremaking, archival work, dramatic technique, and more.