Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Davin Magidson



The Artist as Tragic Hero:

The Creative Process

of Playwright, Director Michael Gurevitch



August 2018

Chair: Dr. James Thomas

Co-Chair: Dr. David Magidson

Major: Theatre

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

“Know Thy Own Self and Be Moderate” is the saying carved on Apollo’s temple in Delphi. The Greeks believed that when we lose our inner knowing, we become alienated and delusional. In this dissertation, I explore the distinct creative process of the Israeli playwright and director Michael Gurevitch and his role in the Israeli theatre in the light of the tragic hero’s role as originated in the Dionysian Festivals of ancient Greece. This study is looking at the artist’s creative process as the tragic hero who mirrors life in the deepest sense of the word while the essence of his creation becomes a calling for the society.

Drawing on resources such as personal interviews, video footage of live rehearsals, recordings of original productions, and full archived materials, this dissertation examines the philosophy that inspires and informs Gurevitch’s creative work, along with the distinct method he developed and the tools and techniques with which he originates and devises his original productions. Gurevitch’s creative process is being examined by focusing on and exploring three main sections within his process of theatre making: 1. Methods and philosophy of teaching acting, 2. The unique rehearsal process with which he creates his productions, and a 3. Close analysis of the original productions.

Gurevitch experiences the drama as a conflict, a struggle in which core rests the ability of the hero to consciously choose for his highest good and the highest good of the community; Gurevitch, along with his actors become co-creators of a theatre event that exceeds either of their art alone.