Thesis

The suite

The opportunity to work on a new play as a thesis project presented itself while working as the Managing Director of American Theatre Arts, a Conservatory theatre in Hollywood, California. Having previously directed only published plays by established playwrights, I wanted to have the experience of working on an untried piece of dramatic literature. In the spring of 1981, a copy of the first draft of The Suite was given to me by the playwright, Gary Graves, who writes under the pen name, G. Wizz. The summary of the project presented here focuses on the four drafts of the play and the process of auditions, casting, rehearsals, rewrites, and finally, the presentation to an audience. The work on the first two drafts involved only the writer, Don Eitner, the Artistic Director of American Theatre Arts and me. We discussed at length what we thought the playwright was trying to say and Don and I both encouraged Gary to focus on the main character in the play and determine the character’s needs and how he achieves or does not achieve the fulfillment of these needs. Don later provided valuable input into the developmental process and his contribution will be discussed later in this abstract. (See more in text.)

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