Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1960

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Communication Studies

Advisor

Committee Chair

Abstract

The purpose of this creative production thesis in speech was to test the understanding and knowledge of the graduate student who is specializing in acting and directing. It gave him the opportunity to utilize his training in regard to play production by actually designing and directing a full-length period play for public performance. Procedures: Two months before the Summer Session 1960 had begun, the director began to study translations of The Trojan Women by Gilbert Murray and Richard Lattimore. Both translations were found in The Complete Greek Drama by Whitney J. Oates and Eugene O'Neill, Jr. However, Mr. Murray's selection was found in the third printing and Mr. Lattimore's selection was found in the fourteenth printing. Upon careful consideration of the magnitude of the play and the probable inexperience of the actors, the director selected the later translation by Richard Lattimore of Bryn Mawr College and The University of Chicago. During the first week of summer school the director obtained a cast by open tryouts and personal interview. Several letters had been previously sent to prospective cast members in the hope of obtaining the most experienced people possible. On June 10, 1960, open tryouts and interviews were concluded and the cast was announced. Prior to the actual production of the play the director wrote a bibliographical essay entitled Production and Direction of Classical Greek Play: A Survey of Literature. This essay was invaluable to the director as a basis for devising plans and ideas for The Trojan Women. Concluding the bibliographical essay, the director proceeded to study the life and accomplishments of the playwright, Euripides. This study revealed that Euripides was the free-thinker of his time and that he constantly criticized social customs and military practices. It is his criticism of the military that helps make The Trojan Women a powerful production. All of the background work was now accomplished and the director turned to the actual blocking of the play, analysis of the characters, the designing and lighting of the setting, the costuming of the actors, and the forming of the critical evaluations. Following the critical evaluations were photographs of the play and posters, photostatic copies of stories and reviews, and the program. Results: On July 15, 1960, the public performance of The Trojan Women was presented at Hays High Auditorium. It was felt that the spirit and purpose of the playwright was faithfully portrayed. The cast worked in close harmony with each other, and the lighting and sound effects were well integrated with the setting and mood of the play.

Rights

Copyright 1960 Robert Lee Phillips

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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