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Inside the mind: realising ‘Dissociative identity disorder’ on stage and the challenges that came with it. Including the new play (Choices)

Levy, Madeleine (2013)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis documents and critically reflects upon how the new stage-play ‘Choices’ was developed. It looks at the challenges that were presented to the writer when realising a mental health condition on stage. It also shows what the writer did to tackle those challenges.‘Choices’ is a script which explores the mental illness ‘Dissociative identity Disorder’ also known as multiple personality disorder and (D.I.D). The script gives voice to identities which reside inside fictional protagonist Kathy Harris. Aristotle was a Philosopher who wrote on the subject of a playwright’s craft. In his ‘Poetics’ he talks of appropriate structures for Tragedy plays. The author of the thesis uses Plato’s ‘Allegory of the cave’ to demonstrate that the protagonist’s suffering in ‘Choices’ is conditioned by her environment however, Aristotle used Plato’s allegory to talk about the way we read the shadows of theatre to learn about the world outside. Postmodernist theory would suggest that there is no absolute truth of an event only the subjective truth that is learnt through an individual’s experience. Therefore when watching plays audiences can acquire many readings of a script, these readings are all determined by an audience’s experience of the world around them. There is no absolute reality behind ‘Choices’ and audience member’s experiences of the play are conditioned by the theatre environment and by their experiences of the world outside the theatre. Finally, throughout the thesis, the challenges that the writer faced,when writing ‘Choices’, are discussed and analysed to show how ‘Choices’ has borrowed from other theatrical works in order to create a successful piece of drama.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Grace, Fraser
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Subjects:PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4427
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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