Title page for ETD etd-01262012-143445

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rhoton, Nickolas Ian
Author's Email Address nrhoto1@lsu.edu
URN etd-01262012-143445
Title Ballplayer, an Addiction Story: A Production Thesis of a Generated Solo Performance Piece
Degree Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Department Theatre
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Erickson, Nick Committee Member
Holben, Richard Committee Member
Judy, George Committee Member
  • multi-media
  • solo performance
  • theatre
  • Eric Show
  • baseball
Date of Defense 2011-10-10
Availability unrestricted
The thesis assignment was to create a stand-alone solo performance piece of no less than 30 minutes in length. The absence of any further guidelines provided the opportunity to focus on a subject (or subject matter) of my choosing. Researching symptoms and tendencies of addictive personality disorder as a basis for a class-based performance assignment led me to Eric Show, a pitcher who played professional baseball in the 1980s and early 1990s. Eric’s life was both heartbreaking and compelling. This thesis follows the adaptation of a number of stories and interviews about Show into a performance piece that seeks to bring an audience into the daily struggle of a real-life person while posing questions about what can be done to help people who struggle with addiction. Limiting the characters I would play to a select few who had significant impact on Show’s life, rather that portraying Show himself, my goal was to provide many perspectives on one person’s battles with addiction. The performance piece incorporates mixed- and multi-media elements into the performance to further the dramatic action while providing a template for narrative by serving as transitional interludes. Focusing on my work as an actor by limiting costume changes or other distinguishing differences between characters, the challenge was to be very attentive to other distinguishing details. The thesis represents the inspiration, research, evolution, and final performance draft of my solo performance script as a foundation for further expansion of the piece into a full-length performance text.

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