Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Rodney S. Hudson
Visual and Performing Arts
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Music | Other Music | Theatre and Performance Studies
My thesis project was the process of adapting the script and music, rehearsing, performing, and producing an original one-woman show. The production is called “La Petite Piaf” and is based on events in the life of Edith Piaf. I adapted, produced, starred in an original one-woman show. It ran seventy-five minutes without an intermission and consisted of dialogue in English and fifteen songs in French. I portrayed Edith Piaf. I oversaw every element of the production. I was in charge of my marketing, finding a performance space, securing dates, hiring a pianist, stage manager, and run crew, finding a lighting designer, transposing the music, adapting the script, locating properties, set and costume pieces, and ultimately performing the intermission-less seventy-two minute show.
I executed this project through various mediums. I conducted research on Piaf’s life, wrote the script based off of various plays and texts, interpolated the music, transcribed and transposed some of the songs, rehearsed, and performed the production. I also oversaw marketing and production of the show. The process took place over the course of eighteen months.
Needless to say, I completed the performances less than a month ago and I am still exhausted from the eighteen months of work leading up to its completion. Thank goodness I decided to do it, after all of my exhaustion is accompanied by the most exhilarating sense of accomplishment I have ever experienced as an artist. What a great way to end my college career.
“La Petite Piaf” is an original adaptation based on Jean Cocteau’s play “La Voix Humane” as well as Pam Gems’s “PIAF”. Rodney Hudson and I have also incorporated our own text into the script based on biographical sources about Piaf. With the exception of “A Child Is Born” and “Martina”, all of the songs were recorded and performed by Piaf throughout her career. The show takes place throughout the course of an evening during a performance at the Versailles in New York City.
The process of developing “La Petite Piaf” began in September of 2004. Rodney Hudson and I have worked together since then to shape the text, select the music and research the life of such a passionate and beautiful woman who’s artistry moved not only her nation, but all of Europe and the U.S. “For me singing is a way of escaping. It’s another world. I’m no longer on earth.” – Edith Piaf
Moulton, Rachel M., "La Petite Piaf: The Development and Performance of an Original One –Woman Show" (2006). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 605.
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