Spectrums of Truth: Transcribing Reality in the Documentary Musical.
Abstract: One of the underlying issues in documentary theatre is the question of authenticity. Throughout its history, documentary performance has maintained a close relationship to replicating reality and performing authoritative truths, adhering to the ethical limitations of authentic adaptation. One of the newest trends in the documentary form, however, is the verbatim musical, which takes ... read moreverbatim source texts, usually culled from interviews, and sets them to music. To what extent does this musicalization of spoken interviews divorce us from the authenticity of their source? This paper seeks to investigate the malleability of truth and questions our human obsession with reality. By interrogating the theatrical works of The Civilians and Recorded Delivery, I will create a new paradigm for documentary theatre, positioning truth as a spectrum instead of binary. Ultimately, I argue that by broadening the adaptation of performed truth, the documentary musical may be able to access a reality more real than the document itself.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Drama.
Advisor: Barbara Grossman.
Committee: Laurence Senelick, and Noe Montez.
Keywords: Theater history, Performing arts, and Music.read less