Date of Award

Spring 1982

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Jim Bartruff

Second Advisor

Harry Smith

Third Advisor

Dennis Wiedmann

Abstract

The project was to direct William Gibson's A Cry of Players. Somehow that simple, though accurate, statement does not seem to adequately describe the undertaking. Directing entails an enormous variety of tasks. A more detailed definition of the project would list many elements including play selection, research, casting, rehearsing, and dealing with costuming, set considerations, and other technical aspects. All of these elements, and more, were incorporated to produce the final project. The first step in the project was to select a play for production. Play selection can be a long and tiring task. It was necessary to take into consideration the confines of the Carroll College Little Theatre, the number of people available to participate, the abilities of those people, the acceptability of the play to the Carroll and Helena audiences, and finally the personal limitations of an inexperienced director. With these considerations in mind several months were spent pouring over numerous scripts. When first reading William Gibson's A Cry of Players it is hard not to fall in love with the beauty of the language. Gibson writes in a poetic style with images and symbolism rampant in his dialogue. In one passage where Will struggles with his desire to go to London he anguishingly spouts:
London. Be still, you pulsing toad in me, be still. Is there one face that swims in my tear I cannot now see dead and out of my way? Such murder is in me: and in all the swarms that copulate, lift any stone the bugs are as busy as little soldiers and butchers. The language gives the text a poetic air which lends itself to the period and the subject, William Shakespeare. In addition to the beauty of the language, every one of Gibson's characters has depth and discernable personality. Gibson has a remarkable ability to define character through dialogue. When Fulk hisses at Meg, "Shut up ye old bad, ye want the gamekeeper on us?", the character's crudeness is immediately apparent. The richness of the parts would give actors the opportunity to challenge themselves with interesting characters. The most gripping aspect of A Cry of Players, however, is Gibson's treatment of problems in human relationships and his attempt to have his characters answer some very fundamental human questions that still have consequence in our lives today. One example is Will's struggle to choose between his family and his haunting desire to express himself artistically This is a problem many people must deal with today, the choice between self-fulfillment and a responsibility to others. Other issues treated are infidelity, jealousy, the significance of sex in a relationship and the questions, what am I doing with my life? and is love enough?

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