David Green ’19E is a theater and dance major. His performance thesis examines biblical narratives. His thesis advisor is Associate Professor of Theater and Dance Ron Bashford.
Q: What is your thesis about? A: My thesis is a theater and dance thesis about the relationship between God and humankind, specifically her relationship with her first children, Adam and Eve and also the serpent and how this extends to humanity. In a story of redemption that addresses a serious matter while incorporating aspects of my comedic writing style, this play looks at biblical narratives and reimagines them to be more inclusive in a way that deviates from the pervasive white, male narrative we see in today’s society.
Q: Where did you get the idea for your thesis? A: Two springs ago, I did a directing studio, in which you direct a few different projects. One of the pieces was four actors and we created an original Adam and Eve story and incorporated Lillith, an unconventional biblical character. This piece laid the framework for my first nine scenes of my thesis, and I’ve expanded it to include an even deeper biblical reference.
Q: Where are you in the process of your thesis? A: We held auditions the first day of classes, and we have been rehearsing ever since. There are a bunch of people involved. I have a costume, lighting and sound designer, a music director, so a lot of the process is rehearsal. Another big aspect is meeting with everyone to ensure we’re following the same streamline vision so we can present a coherent, impactful piece.
Q: What has been the most challenging part? A: As a person who is not marginalized in many ways, I had the option of doing a story on myself or of doing a story on someone else. I decided not to do a story on myself because I didn’t think it would be particularly useful in our society’s discourse. However, doing a story on someone else requires a lot of attention to detail, because I need to accurately portray their story to address the issues and problems they are facing. Simultaneously, I am incorporating religion in a way that is effective and meaningful, so there is nuance in how to approach this subject.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part? A: I’ve been writing this thesis for a year and a half, so it’s been really close to my chest. I was nervous on how people would receive this piece because it involves identity politics and important issues, so I’ve been collaborating with people who comes from diverse backgrounds to ensure the accurate portrayal of different stories. Now, seeing everything start to come together on stage is surreal.
Q: Do you have any advice for students who are thinking of writing a theater and dance thesis or even just a thesis in general? A: In a broad sense, your thesis swallows up your life. Make sure you’re really happy and interested in what you’re writing your thesis on because while it is an extremely rewarding experience, there is little time to focus on much else. It is a lot of time, heart and energy, but it is exciting to work on something that is all-encompassing!