Typically a theatre production is experienced for a narrowly prescribed moment—the 2-2.5 hours of performance. Thomas attempted to lengthen and broaden the theatrical experience for her students involved in production, as well as broader audiences, by offering in-depth exposure to production elements such as script selection, design conversations, casting, rehearsals, technical rehearsals, and “post-mortem” conversations. “The work we do in the theatre blurs the distinctions between academic/artistic and curricular/co-curricular while offering highly experiential and interdisciplinary experiences for actors, designers, technicians, and audiences alike,” Thomas said in her proposal.
My research interests focus on the intersections of theatre and gender and sexuality in historical and contemporary theatre. My dissertation explored the work of English playwright Bryony Lavery and my thesis focused on the career of directing pioneer Joan Littlewood. I am currently working on two projects. First, an anthology documenting the careers and histories of female lighting, costume, scenic and sound designers. And second, a paper exploring the creative process of casting a collaborative company rather than individual roles in a single production. Future aspirations include additional interviews and work with Bryony Lavery's early plays as well as a devised theatre project exploring the history of theatre and faith.