Date of Award


Document Type



Theatre Arts

First Reader

Professor Eric Phillips

Second Reader

Professor Drew Hampton

Third Reader

Professor Tiffany Eurich


People are constantly in motion. We move among the earth, among each other, and within our own body. Movement is one of our greatest means of communicating ideas and emotions with each other. Sometimes, words just aren't enough. We need to see something to comprehend its meaning or to feel the emotion the situation is trying to stir up. Experiencing comedy is no exception. That is where the concept of physical comedy comes in.

Physical comedy has been growing its roots since the beginning of time. It has grown and evolved to effectively captivate audiences in various mediums throughout history. As technology and art has progressed, physical comedy has transformed to include itself into those mediums. From old time vaudeville to modern cinema, artists have been using their bodies and actions to create humor.

In the following chapters, we will delve into the world of physical comedy from its history, why and how it works, the role gender plays, how it has been transforming into modern times, and where it will go from here.



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