Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Mark Liermann

Second Advisor

Kate Thomsen


The purpose of this research, which accompanied a performance, is to flesh out and get to know the character Helen, in Baby With the Bathwater, written by Christopher Durang. The goal is to fully understand the motivations behind the characters actions, and the motivation and tactic accompanying each line of Helen’s in the play. Tone shifts for each scene, exploration of objectives, and the characters’ inherent traits and personality are all included in the research and study. The methods used to collect this information were text analysis, employment of the Meisner and Stanislavski techniques of Acting, and the use of research devices to collect proper data for the time period, setting and world of the character. Text analysis involves a script that has been broken down into acting beats, with the objective, action, and obstacle listed for each specific beat of the play and each specific moment or line. Methods also include complete and total dedication to the study of the play itself, including but not limited to the extensive rehearsal process (which is documented in the research.) The results of the research show that Helen is a highly complex character, who lives in a world that is not governed by the same rules as ours. Her thoughts are expressed as she’s thinking them. The result was also 3 weekends worth of performances. In conclusion, the research project, which is formally titled “bookwork” in the acting world, along with the accompanying reflection paper, are representative of the complexity involved in character study and creation. The research shines light on the process of an actor; a process that few people are familiar with.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted