Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Noreen Barnes


Abstract The Fourth Level of Theatrical Awareness By Greg Scurria, MFA A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Pedagogy at Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Commonwealth University, Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Pedagogy Virginia Commonwealth University, 2010 Major Director: Dr. Noreen C. Barnes, Director of Graduate Studies, Theatre Department This text is a partial record and narrative of the production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men that opened on May 1st 2009 for a three day run ending May 3rd 2009 and Shel, a collection of Shel Silverstein short plays and poems, which opened on September 18th for a three day run that ended September 20th. It also covers the work done by a small group on Yazmina Reza’s The God of Carnage during the Spring of 2010. The text details the creative process of the two productions while also examining two hypotheses that grew out of that work. It will examine the heightened sense of ownership experienced while working on Of Mice and Men and the subsequent unsuccessful attempt to recreate that atmosphere during Shel. The other hypothesis involves the discovery of the fourth level of theatrical awareness and how it can be used to help actors. The fourth level of theatrical awareness exists outside of the traditional character based exploration of text. Students who examine the text using the fourth level attempt to view the play in its entirety without character bias. Actors using the fourth level look at shape, major themes of the play, and spatial awareness in order to analyze the play using a directorial eye. The possible applications of this work will be discusses as well as concerns about its use. The attempts to apply this fourth level of theatrical awareness in Shel will be discussed, as well as the attempts to find practical applications for the fourth level while working with The God of Carnage. Finally, this paper will outline a plan for implementing the fourth level of theatrical awareness in a production and highlight other areas of exploration involving dramaturgical investigation. As a whole, it will trace the growth and transformation of these ideas and plot a plan to continue expanding on them in the future.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010