Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Special Studies: M.A.
College of Liberal Arts
Arthur L. Houseman
Ellsworth Scott Bryce
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Man is distinguished from the beasts by his deliberate use of faculties of the mind. He has the ability to think, reason, and imagine at will. He is a being of supreme intelligence and creativity. Yet, because of his very powers of mentality, he is forced to face the pain of mentality. He must make decisions. He experiences frustration, anxiety, and mental torment. Physical man may completely give way to mental man, creating a world based upon imagination. In this circumstance, the life of illusion, man finds it impossible to adjust to the real world. He can only attempt to make reality a part of his illusion or make his illusions a part of his reality. It is this thesis which is developed in Edward Albee's drama TINY ALICE.
The presentation of TINY ALICE which is the basis of this project, was directed to exhibit the merging of the real with the illusionary. It was a project which included such technical problems as finding solutions to the difficulties involved in the personification of abstractions, and translating the subjective into the objective in language and action. It also demanded the implementation of directing techniques which required the manipulation of people and ideas toward the goal of achieving objective believability as characters and motivations on the physical stage.
The three performances. of TINY ALICE which evidenced the results of the creative work on this project, were held in the Gray Campus Laboratory School Auditorium on the campus of St. Cloud State College, St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 13, 14, and 15, 1967. The facilities included a proscenium stage, extended five feet into the auditorium house. The seating capacity of the auditorium was 270 persons, although each performance necessitated the inclusion of additional seating.
The project was undertaken solely by students, although it was advised by theatre staff members. It proceeded from a five hundred dollar working budget. From this allotment were built three stage settings plus the majority of the costumes. It also included funds for royalties, promotion, the rental of miscellaneous set items, and the rebuilding of major property units.
This production of TINY ALICE was experimental in every respect. Because of the ambiguity, subjectivity, and heavy symbolism of the play, no single definite approach was dictated. Innovation and trial of new methods of staging and genera! production techniques was possible. Every aspect of production was prepared in this free spirit.
TINY ALICE is a difficult drama to produce. It is filled with vaguery and ambiguity; yet, it contains an element of thought which continues long after the final performance. It is immodestly believed that TlNY ALICE required creative freedom, controlled and concentrated toward a goal of believability, and quality of production. Such a goal demanded the application of the many severe disciplines of this complex art form.
Boros, Donald M., "Tiny Alice by Edward Albee: A Production Record and Analysis with Emphasis on Dynamic Theatrical Symbolism" (1967). Culminating Projects in English. 20.