Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts
Benson, Susan Patrick
This thesis details the development of my full-length play Last Seen Alice from pre-writing to full production at Southern Illinois University in March 2015. In writing Last Seen Alice, I was inspired by many absurdist plays, including the “Bérenger Plays,” a set of four plays by Eugene Ionesco that contain the same protagonist in different circumstances. I conceived the idea from Last Seen Alice as a way to begin my own set of plays that would have the same protagonist in unique situations. The play utilizes an absurdist plot structure and explores absurdist themes such as a lack of control of the world.
Chapter One studies the play’s origin, character development, and self-evaluation of the pre-writing process. Chapter Two analyzes the writing process, including details from two workshop readings of the script. Chapter Three describes the pre-production process through illustrating three design meetings, auditions, and three rehearsals for Last Seen Alice. Chapter Four evaluates the fully-realized production and describes future revisions to the script. Chapter Five concludes the thesis by examining my residency in the Playwriting Program, including the program structure, my body of plays written, and my final considerations. I have also included in the thesis the production script of Last Seen Alice, song lyrics used in this production, production photos, and program.
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