Moises Kaufman: The Search for New Forms
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This study identifies and examines Moises Kaufinan's theoretical questions and rehearsal techniques from their development in initial works at New York University to their specific application during the creation of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project by his Tectonic Theater Project. Kaufinan's upbringing and major artistic influences are investigated in order to trace the origins of his current theoretical language and approach to making theatre. This dissertation primarily focuses on Kaufi:nan's approach to the workshop space as discussed in relation to his search for new theatrical forms, and his style of communication with company members. Such focus offers new questions regarding the basis and range ofKaufinan's aesthetic. The two guiding questions of the study ask: What is Kaufinan's directorial role in Tectonic Theatre Project's creation of new work? How does he ensure the "copulation" of form and content in the workshop space when creating new works? Chapter II outlines Kaufman's biography through detailing his education in Venezuela and in the Experimental Theatre Wing at New York University, as well as traces his early production history. Chapter III investigates how Tectonic techniques led to the creation of Gross Indecency examining Kaufman's inciting hunch, the depth of his research, his organizing principle and expanding through-lines, and "moment work." Chapter IV continues to trace the development of these Tectonic techniques through the creation of The Laramie Project, highlighting the fact that no two Tectonic Theater Project productions have been created in the same manner. This chapter also raises the crucial question of Kaufman's role as Tectonic's workshop director in regards to the issues of authority and authoring. Chapter V arrives at concluding questions and thoughts on Kaufman's theoretical questions in traffic with his workshop techniques, and how these shape his directorial and authorial aesthetics. Chapter V concludes with questions for further study on Kaufman and historically based theatre.