Date of Completion
Honors Thesis - Campus Access
Mark Evan Schwartz
The creative activity that I engaged in was writing a full length screenplay to complete my Screenwriting major. The screenplay, which is entitled Keys of Ivory, focuses on an anthropomorphic automaton in Victorian Era London who has been created as a performance piece to play the piano. When her creator debuts a new automaton, who can sing, she begins to question her identity and ultimately runs away into the London slums where she encounters class and technological warfare. The project is designed for adults, specifically aged 18 to 34, and it engages with a number of contemporary concerns but through a steampunk period piece lens. It focuses on technology’s saturation of the workplace, as well as what makes a person or robot human. Within the story, I specifically focus on emotions as my protagonist’s tether to a more human like existence. This project required me to research Victorian London, so that I could accurately bring the city and time period to life, as well as technological issues, such as how Victorian era materials could create a working performance robot. I researched common slang from the Victorian era and read excerpts from Victorian era books, like The Picture of Dorian Gray, to more accurately portray how Victorians spoke. I also watched films such as The Elephant Man to research how Victorian London had been previously portrayed as well as to delve into the emotional journey of my protagonist who, just like Joseph Merrick, encounters prejudice because of her physical appearance.
Vermillion, Katherine S., "Keys of Ivory" (2016). Honors Thesis. 123.