//A SENIOR HONORS THESIS PROJECT IN DIRECTING, DRAMATURGY, AND SCENIC DESIGN COMPLETED BY

NICK O'LEARY '14

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The Alchemist by Ben Jonson

Dartmouth College

May 13, 14 & 15, 2016

Co-Advisor: Dr. Irma Mayorga

Theater Majors in the Dartmouth Department of Theater who have completed at least five major courses and who have an average in the major of 3.4 or higher (and a College average of 3.0 or higher) are eligible to apply for the honors program. The selection process is highly rigorous. An honors project normally extends through two terms and receives two major credits.

Pedagogy on this project included guiding senior Nick O'Leary through the Honors Thesis application process and developing a clear plan of action for a project that included three areas of expertise: dramaturgy, directing, and scenic design. Dramaturgical analysis of the script included helping Nick create generous and cogent cuts to this lengthy period piece. Advisement also closely counseled inventive and bold, non-naturalistic staging choices and a broad, highly physical acting style. Mentorship for this project also included collaboration on conceiving and shaping a highly stylized and non-traditional scenic design in a black box theater space configured in alley formation. 

Mentorship and collaboration with Nick included weekly one on one consultation meetings in the first term of the project and in the project's second term advisement carried on into rehearsals and technical productions.

This tightly crafted and hilarious production benefitted from Nick's generous collaborative nature, ambitious and vibrant theatrical vision, and highly organized leadership in managing all aspects of the project. 

Press for Nick O'Leary's Honors Thesis

Diane Chen '14 in The Alchemist. Photo by Rob Strong.

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IRMA MAYORGA 2020