Masters Degrees (Drama)

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    The development towards a linguistic female gaze in selected American situation comedies
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2024-03) Gouws, Moniq Esti; Holm, Nicole; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Drama.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Mass media, especially the media we consume as entertainment, greatly affects our views on societal topics like gender performativity. This study investigates two situation comedies, Two and a half men(2003-2015) and Mom(2013-2021), to determine how language use in the series has developed from a male gaze to a female gaze influence. Discussions on the societal position of women throughout the 20th century, the feminist movement and feminist media theory is provided. Mulvey’s (1975) theory of the male gaze, based on Freud’s psychoanalysis, and possible definitions of the female gaze are explored. However, there is still a need for a female gaze in digital series, as the largest purveyor of societal norms in mass media. Linguistic theories on gendered language use and discussions on communication theory, transitivity and paralinguistic features are given along with comedy theory and the role gender and language play in comedy. The strong influences gender, language and comedy have on each other becomes an important point of departure for this study. A multimodal discourse analysis of both series is completed based on specific scenes and storylines that discuss the ways men and women, sex and parenthood are portrayed. Women in the early 2000s were portrayed as sex-objects, but later drove the narrative as the protagonists. Both series exhibit the double standard for mothers and fathers, but was initially portrayed as comedic from the male perspective, while the seriousness of the situation will only be portrayed later through the female perspective. Sexual desire remained an issue throughout both series, only presented through fragmentation and objectification, adhering to the male gaze. It was concluded that Mom contained more positive female language use than Two and a half men and portrayed women in many different regards, not merely sexually or in antagonized roles. However, both series still fall short of a true female gaze in terms of the double-standard of mothers and fathers and the sexual desire of both genders.
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    Teater in Suid-Afrika : ’n studie oor inter-, kruis- en transkulturele teater binne ’n multikulturele konteks
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Kannemeyer, Mercy; Brand, Amelda; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Drama.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: My first professional theatre production - a stage adaptation of Jeanne Goosen's wellknown book Ons is nie almal so nie - premiered in 2019. I read the book for the first time when I was fifteen. When I read it for the first time, I knew that the book would one day play a major role in my life. I decided in 2018 to adapt the book for the stage. My decision was deliberate - I wanted to find out if I, as a brown theatre maker, could tell a story by a white author. My background as an applied theatre student prepared me for this kind of purposeful work. For this study, I used auto-ethnography and practise-led research. I incorporated my personal experiences as a theatre student and practitioner into my questions and findings. I have researched theatre in the inter- , cross- and transcultural context of multicultural South Africa. I ask specific questions inspired by critical race theory and intersectionality around theatre, race, culture, power and cultural appropriation. South Africa's past is briefly explored to lay the groundwork for the study in relation to theatre and politics. Definitions and backgrounds for multi-, inter-, cross- and transculturality are provided, and the study also examines how these terms play out in practice. Related topics such as power, cultural appropriation and assimilation are also explored. Influenced by my experiences with Ons is nie almal so nie, I decided to interview four established theatre makers to find out what the issues raised in this study mean to them and how they are reflected in their various practices. Attention is paid to the topics of cultural brokerage, “culture of links" and "third culture".
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    A possible missing (or theorized) link between absurdities in the human psyche and in the Theatre of the Absurd, using fairy tales as a connecting vehicle
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Dell, Bianca; Van der Merwe, Schalk; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Drama.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research addresses whether there is a possible missing or theorised link between absurdities related to the human psyche (psychology) and the Theatre of the Absurd, with the fairy tale genre as a connecting vehicle between the two main theories. This research consists of both a theoretical and practical component, with the theoretical component relying primarily on literature studies. To determine this link, research was done in the disciplines of psychology (more specifically Jung’s stance on the psyche and psychoanalysis concerning specific mental disorders, which may be adhered to as absurdities concerning the psyche), philosophy (more specifically absurdism/existentialist philosophy), fairy tale literature, and theatre (more specifically the Theatre of the Absurd). The methodological approach used was research-based practice as gained from the iterative cyclic web of Smith and Deans (2009). This was used to aid in defining the possible link theoretically and adapting the theoretical insights into a practical production. The practical production was self-written and directed using the insights gained from the Theatre of the Absurd, and Jung’s stance on the psyche and psychoanalysis of mental disorders, with character inspiration obtained from popular Western fairy tales. An account of the practical exploration is given, along with addendums A and B which consist of the written text and photos from the live theatrical production. The results from both the theoretical and practical insights showcased connections in each field with the other as follows: Psychology and theatre have a connection of their own, further stemming into the specifics of this research, and psychoanalysis and the psyche link with the Theatre of the Absurd from a Jungian perspective. The aforementioned psychological principles link with fairy tales and fairy tales with the Theatre of the Absurd. Fairy tales as a vehicle of discussion are universal and their archetypes, symbolism, morality, collective understanding and cognitive inclusions are what allowed for a deeper exploration into linking the two main fields. A possible link was defined between absurdities as related to the psyche and the Theatre of the Absurd, however, the real truth in the link lies in mankind itself, yet it is also established that truth is always deceiving and perspective-dependent.
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    South Africa's celluloid closet : the reproduction of Hollywood LGBTQ+ stereotypes and tropes in South African films
    (2022-12) Erasmus, Mone; Pieterse, Annel; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Drama.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The recurring stereotypes and tropes that arise in films depicting LGBTQ+ characters have negative impacts on how LGBTQ+ people see themselves, each other, and how other people see them. These depictions also promote homophobic myths and heteronormative ideologies. This dissertation provides a comprehensive exploration of Hollywood’s LGBTQ+ stereotypes and tropes and examines how these are reproduced in South African films. Therefore, the methodology consists of a qualitative semiotic analysis of LGBTQ+ representations to determine the value of, and meanings behind these depictions. The primary films consist of five South African queer-films that were released in the last decade, namely: Oliver Hermanus’s Skoonheid (2011), John Trengove’s Inxeba (2017), Christiaan Olwagen’s Kanarie (2018), Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki (2018), and Oliver Hermanus’s Moffie (2019). These films are evaluated according to five criteria to determine whether they constitute fair LGBTQ+ representations. My criteria state that a film’s LGBTQ+ character(s) must be explicitly queer, not conform to most stereotypes or tropes, be complex and experience growth, not be a token character, and not embody the Other. Most of Hollywood’s mainstream films fail to meet these criteria and depict LGBTQ+ characters in line with outdated practices. Similarly, South Africa’s films also fail to meet the criteria – with single exceptions – and perpetuate regressive myths about LGBTQ+ people. Although the five primary queer-films offer more complex LGBTQ+ representations, many employ harmful tropes that vilify or Other LGBTQ+ people. Notably, Kanarie and Rafiki subvert the more harmful tropes, pointing to the possibility of better future LGBTQ+ representations in South African films. These findings indicate a need for new types of queer-films and LGBTQ+ depictions in Hollywood and South African films, and problematise the ways in which LGBTQ+ stereotypes and tropes are discussed in academia. Moreover, the findings support existing theories on how identities and meanings are constructed and distributed. Finally, this dissertation serves as a call for, and template of, further research into transgender- and bisexual-specific stereotypes in mainstream films.
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    What I was told : investigating how verbatim- and physical theatre can be combined to portray ethnographic research of gender performativity under female students at Stellenbosch University
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-03) Baard, Helena; Gerber, Andre Kruger; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Drama.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Verbatim-physical theatre presents the possibility for women’s stories, not only to be told, but to be heard, interacted and engaged with. This study investigates how verbatim- and physical theatre can be used in conjunction with one another to portray ethnographic research of gender performativity conducted under female students at Stellenbosch University. The ethnographic case study is aimed at identifying what female students’ at Stellenbosch University perception of femininity is and examines what it means for them, to be a woman. The study subsequently explores verbatim-physical theatre’s potential to portray this ethnographic research in a manner that is politically conscious, educational and accessible through embodied, liminal performance. The study explores notions of reclaiming agency through the telling of women’s personal stories, that would otherwise not be heard and legitimizing previously silenced narratives, as well as actively taking up space and moving past the boundaries and limits placed on women’s bodies. Through this, the study examines verbatim-physical theatre’s potential to function as feminist protest theatre, suggesting that it can become a powerful agent of social change. The argument is made that verbatim-physical theatre, not only offers a means of presenting ethnographic research in an accessible and relatable way, but also protests for social change by engaging with people’s lived experiences in an active and meaningful manner. This study concludes with the creation and discussion of a new verbatim-physical theatre production, What I was Told, that functions as feminist protest theatre and is aimed at giving a truthful and authentic account of those stories told by research participants.