Engaging the Savage Imagination: an actors search for the heart of Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream
Bergquist, Adam Lane
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This thesis will explore the notion of the Savage Imagination as it applies to an actors' process in preparation for and performance of the role of Bottom in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It establishes a working definition of the Savage Imagination then offers possible ways to apply it to the art of acting. The research is directed into three major areas: psychological, physical and experiential. Drawing from the works of Carl Jung, Declan Donnellan, Eric Morris, Janet Sonenberg and Keith Johnstone (among others), as well as concepts taught at York University by Paul Lampert, Erika Batdorf, Gwen Dobie (Alexander Technique) and Melee Hutton (David Rotenberg's States of Being), it references personal and academic discoveries in the fields of creativity, performance and improvisation. A production history of the play is included, with emphasis on the role of Bottom. It concludes with selected journal entries from rehearsals and performance.