Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

David Leong

Second Advisor

Aaron Anderson

Third Advisor

Sharon Ott

Fourth Advisor

Keith Kirk


A disassembling of the Virginia Theatre Machine (VTM), LLC and its annual restaging of an adaption of Charles Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol. The VTM is a custom-built trailer theater that combines the performance energy of street theater with the magic and wonder of a fully designed theatrical production. I provide a historical context for this 21st century revising of mobile theater that switches the paradigm of the traditional theater experience by bringing the stage to audiences, for free. I draw from critical social and cultural theory to make sense of the audience impact in public and private outdoor spaces. I examine how each new performance environment brings its own resonance to bear on the wonder of the presentation at hand. I present the VTM as an alternative business model and form of theater outreach to inspire a new generation of theater-makers to rethink the traditional constraints of producing theatre.


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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission