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Notes

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Syracuse Stage

Ta b l e o f CSyracusStage ontents

Season Study Guide

5

Theatre Etiquette and Frequently Asked Questions

6

Theatre and Education

9

Around the World in 80 Days

19

Driving Miss Daisy

25

A Christmas Carol

35

Spike Heels

42

Gem of the Ocean

54

Death of a Salesman

63

The Unexpected Guest

Resources provided by the Jules Verne Society of North America, The Mariners’ Museum, The Guthrie Theatre and the Agatha Christie Society.

- Nichole Gantshar and Lauren Unbekant, editors

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Questions and Answers and theatre etiquette as well...

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eachers: please speak with your students about the role of the audience in watching a live performance. Following are answers to commonly asked questions that you might want to share with your students as well as some helpful suggestions to make the day more enjoyable.

When should we arrive? We recommend you arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes prior to the performance. Student matinees begin promptly at 10:30 am — we cannot hold the curtain. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the Management. Where do we get off the bus? Buses not staying should load and unload on East Genesee Street. Bus parking is available along East Genesee Street at the bagged meters. Parking at bagged meters is for buses only cars will be ticketed. Please do not park in the Centro Bus Stop. You may exit the bus upon arrival, but have your group stay together in the lobby. Where do we sit? Will we have tickets? There are no tickets - ushers will direct you to the seats. Students will be asked to fill in the rows and not move around once seated. We request that teachers and chaperones distribute themselves throughout the students and not sit together. Remember, we have to seat 500 people as quickly as possible, so your help in seating is greatly appreciated. What can be brought into the auditorium? We do not allow backpacks, cameras, walkmans, recording devices, food or chewing gum. We do not have storage facilities for these items so it is best if these are left at school or on the bus.

eras and recording devices are prohibited and will be confiscated. Is there someplace we can snack or eat? When possible, soda and snacks will be available for sale during intermission, at a cost of $1.00 (exact change appreciated.) Food is not allowed in the auditorium. Where are the restrooms? There are restrooms in the main lobby. We ask that students use the facilities before the show and during intermission only and not get up during the show.

What is the audience’s role? A performance needs an audience. It is as much a part of the theatre event as our actors, our designers, our technicians and crew. Each playwright asks you to come into the world he or she has created — but this world is different than television or movies. The actors need your responses — your laughter, your applause — but as you can imagine conversations, cell phones, beepers and other distractions will disrupt the world that is being created. If any student becomes disruptive to the point of interference with the performers or other audience members, a chaperone will be asked to remove that student. If you play your part well, the actors can play their parts well and all will enjoy the show!

May we take pictures? Taking photographs or recording the performance is illegal, disruptive to other audience members and dangerous to the actors. All cam-

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Theatre and Education "Theatre brings life to life." — Zelda Fichandler

world. Then artists come along and discover it the same way all over again." — Eudora Welty

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hen the first cave dweller got up to tell a story, theatre began. Almost every culture has some sort of live performance tradition to tell stories. Television and film may have diminished the desire for access to theatre, but they have not diminished the importance. Live theatre gives each audience member an opportunity to connect with the performers in a way he or she never could with Tom Cruise or Lindsay Lohan. The emotions can be more intense because the events are happening right in front of the audience. Ultimately, there is a fundamental difference in the psychological responses aroused by electronic media and theatre because the former presents pictures of events whereas the latter performs the actual events in what amounts to the same space as that occupied by the audience. This difference results in one unique characteristic of theatre: its ability to offer intense sensory experience through the simultaneous presence of live actors and audience. "The sole substitute for an experience which we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature." — Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

Pedagogically, theatre can be used in a variety of ways. In many respects the teacher in the classroom is much like the actor onstage — with an audience (attentive), a script (lesson plan), props and set (classroom setting and teaching tools). The environment of the teaching experience can change day to day, and can be impacted by weather, mood, outside events — in other words, each day is a unique, active, sensory occurrence, just like a play. From this perspective all of what can be taught can be taught theatrically, whether it is having young children create a pretend bank to learn about money, to older students acting out a scene from a play. Theatre provides an opportunity to teach, and any play provides an opportunity to teach more.

Bringing your students to productions at Syracuse Stage, and utilizing this study guide in teaching about the plays, fulfills elements of the New York State core requirements. We know that as educators you are the more qualified to determine how our plays and study guides blend with your lesson plans and teaching requirements. We hope that you find lots of possibilities to cover a variety of disciplines. As you bring your students to the shows, you might want them to examine not merely the thematic elements of the written word, but also how production elements explore these themes. Everything you see on this stage has been created specifically for this production — there are no standard sets for A Christmas Carol, no codified method for presenting Gem of the Ocean, no rules for costuming Spike Heels. How, for example, will we represent the locations in Around the World in 80 Days? How will the costumes differentiate characters? Our designers meet with our directors months before rehearsals start, and shows are built to their specifications, which are in line with their vision of the work. In our detailed study guides for our school shows, we will try to give you some previews of this process, but you might want to explore discussing all of the design elements with your students as a way of opening the door to the production they will be seeing. You probably know all of the elements that make up a show, but to recap: Sets Props Choreography

Costumes Sound Music

Lights Painting Casting

And of course, the one thing that is vitally necessary for any piece to be theatre: AN AUDIENCE Without this last, most important element, the theatre ceases to be. Welcome to Syracuse Stage's Educational Outreach Programs.

"Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the

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Theatre and Education Character Who? Who are the characters in the play? and what are their relationship to each other?

Setting Where? Where does the story take place? This influences design concepts and actors’ actions. Characters move and behave according to their environment. Time When? Time includes the historical (period in history), time of year/season and time of day, which influence design concepts and actors’ actions.

Character Relationship Conflict/Resolution Action Plot/Story Setting Time Improvisation Non-verbal communication Staging Realism/Naturalism Visual Composition Metaphor Language Tone Pattern Repetition Emotion Point of View Humor The Elements of Art

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Plot/Story What? What is the story line? What happened before the play started? What do the characters want? What happens next?

This column contains some elements for further classroom exploration when investigating a piece of theatre.

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ELEMENTS OF THEATRE Theatre usually engages other art disciplines including: Writing, Visual/Design, Music and Dance or Movement

Richard Montoya and Herbert Siguenza in Culture Clash in AmeriCCa

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S y ra cSyracusStage use Stage

Theatre and Education here are typically six elements that can be found in most art works. Artists use these elements as a "visual alphabet" to produce all kinds of art forms. The ways in which elements are organized is referred to as the Principles of Design.

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up space: geometric, man-made or free form.

Line is the most basic element of art; a continuous mark made on a surface can vary in appearance (length, width, texture, direction, curve). Five varieties of lines: vertical, horizontal. diagonal, curved, zigzag.

Texture refers to the surface quality or "feel" of an object: smooth, rough, soft, etc. Textures may be actual (felt with touch - tactile) or implied (suggested by the way an artist has created the work of art - visual).

Shape is two-dimensional: circle, square, triangle, rectangle and encloses space: geometric, man-made or free form.

Questions For Noticing Art - Guided Looking

Color is produced when light strikes an object and reflects back in your eyes. This element of art has three properties: Hue is the name of a color (red, yellow. blue) Intensity is the purity and strength of a color (bright red or dull red)

Space is defined and determined by shapes and forms. Positive space is where shapes and forms exist; negative space is the empty space around shapes and forms.

1. What do you see? What do you actually see, line shape color, shapes, etc. 2. What else do you see? A chance to look deeper 3. What's going on? What do you think is happening in the artwork? 4. What makes you say that? What is the evidence that you have?

Value is the lightness or darkness of a color Form is three-dimensional and encloses space and takes

Creating questions for exploration Creating an open-ended question using an element for exploration, otherwise known as a “Line of Inquiry,” can help students make discoveries about a piece of theatre, and its relevance to their own lives. A Line of Inquiry also is useful for Kinesthetic Activities. Examples: 1. How does an actor’s exploration of physical space define the type of character he/she s portraying? (Think of ways in which your students could explore this physically) 2. How might a director/actor create a sense of realism or believable behavior on stage? 3. How does an actor’s use of physical action help to define the setting or time period of the play? 4. How does a set designer use metaphoric scenic elements to enhance the meaning of the play?

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8


James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

PRESENTS

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS A PLAY BY

MARK BROWN BASED ON THE NOVEL BY

JULES VERNE

DIRECTED BY Russell Treyz SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

Bob Phillips

Lisa Zinni

Eric T. Haugen

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER

Brad DePlanche

Stuart Plymesser

EXCLUSIVE SPONSOR

SEASON SPONSORS

World premiere performance by the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Cedar City, Utah; Fred C. Adams, Founder and Executive Producer. Original readings and workshop production by The Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival, Orlando Florida

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Cast of Characters

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Phileas Fogg: A wealthy and very precise Englishman. He could be compared to Tony Shaloub’s character Monk. Fogg is compulsive about time, intelligence and manners.

Adaptations 2004 (film) film staring Jackie Chan 1999 (Animated film) 1989 (mini series) staring Pierce Brosnan, Peter Ustinov, Jack Klugman and Eric Idle 1972 British TV series 1956 (film) staring David Niven, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard and Charles Boyer 1914 Film

Passepartout: Fogg's new servant/valet, Passepartout is a Frenchman. Detective Fix: A stuffy detective from Scotland Yard, Fix is looking for a bank robber who took twenty thousand pounds from the Bank of England. Aouda: An Indian widow, Aouda falls in love with Fogg when he rescues her. And a cast of dozens played by the core group of five actors. The actor playing Fogg is the only one who doesn’t double — or quadruple — roles in the production. Other characters include: Members of the Reform Club who wager twenty-thousand pounds that Fogg won’t be able to make it around the world in 80 days. A Newspaperman The British Consul Ship and Ticket Clerks Director of Bombay Police Hindu priests Indian guide Sir Francis Cromarty, an army officer

Two Train Conductors An Elephant Owner Judge Obadiah Bunsby Train and Ship Conductor, Captains and Engineers

Was Phileas Fogg rich? Undoubtedly. But those who knew him best could not imagine how he had made his fortune, and Mr. Fogg was the last person to whom to apply for the information. He was not lavish, nor, on the contrary, avaricious; for, whenever he knew that money was needed for a noble, useful, or benevolent purpose, he supplied it quietly and sometimes anonymously. He was, in short, the least communicative of men. He talked very little, and seemed all the more mysterious for his taciturn manner. His daily habits were quite open to observation; but whatever he did was so exactly the same thing that he had always done before, that the wits of the curious were fairly puzzled. — Jules Verne

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Meet the Author Jules Verne (1828 - 1905)

Verne rode a wave of 19th-century interest in science and invention to enormous popular favor. Laying a carefully documented scientific foundation for his fantastic adventure stories, he forecast with remarkable accuracy many scientific achievements of the 20th century. He anticipated flights into outer space, submarines, helicopters, air conditioning, guided missiles, and motion pictures long before they were developed.

Among his other classic books are Voyage au centre de la terre (1864; Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1874); De la terre à la lune (1865; From the Earth to the Moon, 1873); Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (1870; Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1873); and L’île mysterieuse (1870; Mysterious Island, 1875). Verne’s works have been the source of many films, beginning in 1902 with Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) by the pioneering French film director Georges Méliès. Around the World in 80 Days was made into highly successful movies in 1956 and 2004.

Verne’s best-known work is Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-vingt Jours (1873; Around the World In Eighty Days, 1873). The book’s Science, my lad, is made up of mishero is Phileas Fogg, an English gentleman noted for his cool-headedness and takes, but they are mistakes which it is ingenuity. During a discussion at his useful to make, because they lead litLondon club, Fogg bets that he can travel around the world in 80 days, a seemingly tle by little to the truth. impossible task at that time. He is accom— Jules Verne panied on the journey by his French

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A ro u n d t h e Wo r l d

He went to Paris to study law in 1848 but stayed to write opera librettos and plays. His interest in science and geographical discovery prompted him to write essays on exploring Africa in a balloon. Publishers rejected this work, until one suggested he rewrite it in the form of an adventure story. The result was Cinq Semaines en Ballon (1863; Five Weeks in a Balloon, 1869). Its success encouraged Verne to write other tales of adventure in distant lands.

valet, Passepartout, and by Detective Fix, who is in pursuit of a bank robber. During their adventures in many parts of the world, Fogg masters every obstacle with unflappable ease. He completes the journey with ten minutes to spare.

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any people call Jules Verne the father of science fiction. He was born in Nantes, France, and at the age of 11 ran away to a life on the sea. Sent home in disgrace, he vowed only to travel in his imagination. He carried out this pledge in more than 50 works that combine scientific fantasy and adventure.


World of Imagination Verne as a visionary

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ules Verne can be called the father of science fiction. In one of his plays, he talked about interplanetary space travel. The host of NPR’s Science Friday, Ira Flato, says Verne had “an uncanny knack for predicting the future.” He possessed, Flato said, “keen insight in how science and technology would shape future events.” Decades after his death, Verne inspired early space pioneers. Astronaut Neil Armstrong spent his childhood reading Verne’s stories.

neys of hundreds of miles had been made by balloon. Fax: There existed a fax before the writing of Paris in the XX Century. We owe the development of the fax machine to Alexander Bain, a Scottish inventor who was granted a patent for his creation back in 1843. Bain’s original concept still is the basis for modern facsimile or fax machines.

Helicopter: Before the writing of Robur the Conqueror, Verne had met engineers Gabriel de la Landelle and Brian Taves, Kluge Staff Fellow, Library of Congress, and Gustave Ponton d'Amecourt, members of an aeronautic a trustee of the North club founded by Felix Nadar. By American Jules Verne that time, Ponton d'Amecourt Society, says Verne used the had created a model of a Jules Verne was a true visionary science of his own day to machine that was very similar to in an era when you needed predict what might happen Robur's Albatros. visionaries. in the future. Extrapoloating from what was known about — John Hunter Electrical engine: Electricity had science, he tried to gauge the been discovered in the 18th Inventor impact on human society century and had been extensiveand how changes in science ly described in fiction. The first would affect humanity. electric engine was made by Michael Faraday in 1821. He would spend afternoons at the library studying science journals and taking notes. Verne foresaw subApollo project that led the first men to the Moon in marines, as detailed in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. 1969: In From the Earth to the Moon and Around the He discussed the impact of human inventions on the Moon, he described a flight round the moon in a holenvironment. Taves said he predicted the slaughter of low bullet, but many others preceded him: Murtagh the whale population. McDermott in A Trip to the Moon (1728) and Achilles Eyraud in 1865 in A Voyage to Venus, both with rockThe Jules Verne Society of North America (jv.gilead. ets. org.il/FAQ/#C1) doesn’t like to speak of Verne as a modern sage. They say he described the inventions and The life of Adolf Hitler: The description of Herr imaginings of his time and then forecast how they Schultze in The 500 Millions of the Begum has an might be used in the future: astonishing resemblance to Adolf Hitler. However, how much of this was conceived by Andre Laurie? It is Submarines: Before the writing of 20,000 Leagues known he wrote the original manuscript and Verne Under the Sea, there existed a submarine. The Nautilus modified it later. (same name as in Verne’s book) was presented by British inventor Robert Fulton at the end of the 18th century to the Directoire in Paris. Travel in balloon: The first, extensive long distance travel in balloons came some years after Verne had written his Five Weeks in Balloon, but before that, some jour-

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Meet the Playwright a long time to think about it.

MB: I worked at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival. Jim Helsinger, the Artistic Director, Michael Carlton, Artistic Director at Cape May Stage, and I would always discuss stories that we thought would make good plays. Then one summer we were all at Pennsylvania Shakespeare, and they said “What about Around the World in 80 Days?” And I said, “Yeah, that's a great idea." And they said, "Why don’t you write it?" And then Carlton said, "Yeah, and we can follow the balloon from country to country." And I said, “You know what, I’ve never read this book, but I know there is no balloon in it. So get that out of your heads.”

JW: Had you written plays or stories before? MB: I couldn’t spell. I didn't even know what a # 2 pencil was. No, I had done an adaptation of The Little Prince, which had had several productions, and I had co-written a one-man play for Orlando Shakespeare called Poe: Deep into that Darkness Peering. So I had written a few things that had been produced, but at the time I was primarily an actor. I did this sort of to keep myself busy between jobs. But it launched me into a writing career. Now, I hardly act at all. JW: So what was that process like for you, that just diving in?

JW: And that was it? MB: It was really like a ten second decision. I said great and they said ok you write it. And off I went. JW: You had never read this book, still you thought it would be a good idea to turn it into a play? MB: I said sure, why not. You know, I knew the story. It’s one of those stories you just sort of know through osmosis. Oh yeah, Around the World in 80 Days, lots of adventure. JW: Did you have any sense of what you were going to do? MB: I wanted to keep it to five actors, for many reasons. Unfortunately the economy of the theatre today, if you go above five actors suddenly producers think you’re doing Nicholas Nickleby: “I can't afford that.” So I wanted to keep it to five, even though there were times that I desperately needed another actor. I just had to find a way around that. I just dove into it. I didn’t have

MB: Well, I had seen a production of Cider House Rules out here in LA by a company that takes classic books and puts them on the stage, and they use only the words of the book. At first I tried to do it that way, and it was ok. We had a reading of the first act at Orlando Shakespeare. It was wellreceived, but I thought it could have been a lot better. So then I threw away the idea of just using the words from the novel and infused it with my own writing. When we read the second act, later in the series, people thought it was much better. So then I went back and re-worked the first act. It was very long at that time, too. I used to joke that it would take 80 days to get through it, so as I worked on the first act, I got it down to a good playing time. JW: Did that limitation of five actors add to the theatricality of the piece? continued

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JW: What led you to turn this story into a play?

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An Interview with Mark Brown


Meet the Playwright SyracusStage A ro u n d t h SyracusStage e Wo r l d

Continued MB: As I said there were times that I desperately needed another actor. There's a part in the second act where the train stops because a bridge has collapsed. And I needed someone to come on, but everybody was already on the train. I’m thinking I need a conductor and I don’t have any more actors. So I have Detective Fix excuse himself to go to the bathroom, and then that actor comes back on as the conductor. Then he leaves and Fix comes back. That was a little infuriating, but it makes me laugh.

with is worth it. For me it was gaining the confidence that I can write this and it's actually pretty good. So, while trying to remain very true to the book, I was putting in more and more of my own voice. For instance, I think I made Detective Fix much funnier than he is in the book. He's very straight in the book. I’ve made him more bumbling. JW: How many times do you think you read the novel? MB: A lot. I read it a lot.

JW: Were you turning a vice into a virtue? MB: You know, being an actor, I wanted this to be fun. I wanted it to be fun for the actors and for the audience. I wanted to break down walls, break down time. And the workshops at Orlando were helpful in this. I could build on what the actors were doing. Every day I was coming in with ten new pages and saying throw those old pages away. Certain things, certain jokes came out in the workshop and we would just run with it. JW: In your mind what changed between your initial take, relying mostly on the book, and the re-write? MB: I think what changed was my confidence in writing what I wanted to write, that what I was to come up

JW: There are quite few productions happening of this play. MB: There's one in Mississippi and one in South Africa now. Then there are a bunch coming up this year.

JW: Why do you think it’s so popular? MB: Well. I think it’s just a really good story. And it’s fun. And without being pompous, I think it’s clever enough to appeal to real theatre lovers. But I think what it comes down to is that Jules Verne wrote a pretty good story. It’s two hours of fun. — Joe Whelan

Who is Mark Brown? Mark Brown is an award-winning writer and actor. His adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days has been produced by many theatres around the country. His adaptation of The Little Prince (co-written with Paul Kiernen) set box office records at the Hippodrome Theatre and the Orlando Theatre Project. Poe: Deep Into That Darkness Peering (co-written with Mark Rector) received its World Premiere at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival and has been produced at various theatres across the country. Mark's play, The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, set box office records in its World Premiere this past December at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival. As an actor, Mark received his training at the American Conservatory Theatre, and has appeared at theatres across the country, including the Tony Award winning companies, South Coast Repertory, the McCarter Theatre (Company member: five years), and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Films include Out of Sight, Holy Man and Amy's O. Notable TV credits include the Emmy Award winning series From the Earth to the Moon, Ally McBeal, Providence, Diagnosis Murder, commercials and made for TV films. His song "Bring Me Back Home", which he wrote and performed, appears in the film The Dig.

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19th Century Travel A Short History the design of the modern steam engine. The introduction of propellers and advances in engine technology brought an end to the age of the oceangoing wind-propelled sailing ships.

Do the math

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Launched in 1858, the Great Eastern was the largest steamship in the world until surpassed by the Oceania The technology that allowed the harnessing of the in 1899. It was 693 feet long and propelled by paddlepower of steam was the breakwheels, a propeller, and six auxthrough that led to many iliary sails. It made its mark in improvements in the transhistory for laying the first transportation industry. Atlantic telegraph cable that London / Suez rail and steamer 7 days same year. Suez / Bombay steamer 13 days Steam engines transferred the Bombay / Calcutta rail 3 days energy of heat into mechanical Nichole Gantshar and Calcutta / Hong Kong steamer 13 days www.auuuu.com/shiptravel/26.html energy, often by allowing Hong Kong / Yokohama steamer 6 days steam to expand in a cylinder Yokohama / San Francisco steamer 22 days equipped with a movable pisSan Francisco / New York rail 7 days ton. As the piston moves up New York / London steamer 9 days and down (or alternatively, total 80 days from side to side), an attached arm converts this into motion that drives a wheel. Models of the steam engine were designed as early as 1690, but it was not until 70 years later that James Watt arrived at

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ravel in the second half of the 19th century thrived with the birth of marine steam propulsion. Each new ship brought innovation, and shipbuilders discovered innovative solutions to earlier problems with each new ship they built. The innovations eliminated the need for paddlewheels. As shipbuilders turned to iron and later steel for hull construction, they significantly improved the steam engine’s performance.


Aouda’s Rescue Myth and reality

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ictorian culture wouldn’t allow the discussion of suicide and public grief. So the public looked to other cultures to discuss these issues.

While, the British colonial government outlawed suttee, the immolation of a man’s widow, in 1829, the subject was of great interest during Verne’s lifetime. Suttee or sati — literally meaning a faithful wife — was practiced in India for a time. It shouldn’t be confused with recent news reports of bride burning in India and Pakistan— where a family unhappy with a daughter-in-law’s dowry kills her and tells the police it was a “kitchen fire.”

After the 1829 ban, there were few documented instances of this practice. But in 1987, Roop Kanwar, an 18-year-old who had only been married eight months, committed sati. Her death created a debate throughout the country. Some said she was drugged. Others idolized her devotion to her religion and her husband. Feminists fell on both sides of the debate. Many called it barbaric, but some Indian feminists said the issue was a woman’s choice and held rallies supporting Roop Kanwar. In 1996, the Indian Court upheld her suicide as a social tradition and freed the relatives who assisted her.

Sati is the former Indian funeral practice in which the widow immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. The practice has been found in many ancient cultures from the Middle East to Africa and Scandinavia. In India, the practice drew its strength from a legend of one of Krishna’s — a Hindu god — wives killing herself upon his death.

The last known case was in 2002, when Kuttu Bai, 65 and a widow, committed Sati.

The idea behind the practice came from two ancients thoughts: First, that the wife’s soul would find its path to heaven through her husband; Second, that the lovers would be reunited in heaven through her act.

It also solved a character problem for Verne. If he wanted to show that softer side of Fogg and include a little romance, it would be difficult in a Victorian novel.

It’s hard for us in Western society to understand why anyone would do such a thing. But the life of a widow, with no way to support herself, was so bad that the women who did this act did so to escape humiliation, starvation and homelessness.

No self-respecting Victorian woman would have gone on a cross-the-globe journey with a gentleman. In those days, women stayed at home with their parents until they were married. Very few middle-class women worked outside the home. The upper-class women of Fogg’s social class wouldn’t have worked, nor would they travel without a guardian in tow.

It’s also possible that the practice did not happen very often. It may have been a ritual where the woman would act as if she was about to commit sati, but then her grown children, or a brother-in-law would invite her back into the world and promise her their sponsorship and care.

Just as shocking as this is to us today, so would Aouda’s plight have shocked Verne’s readers. Even though there was little basis in reality for the plot line, it certainly added to the fantastic adventure Verne created.

By including Aouda in the plot line, Verne freed himself from the restrictions of Victorian society. He takes Fogg, and all the readers, on an even wilder adventure. — Nichole Gantshar

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Additional Resources Further Reading Jules Verne: Inventor of Science Fiction by Peter Costello

The Jules Verne Encyclopedia, edited by Brian Taves and Stephen Michaluk Jr.

Metacrawler is a search engine that will allow you access information on countries. Just type in the country name: www.metacrawler.com Earthwatch is a site with information about the environment, ongoing projects in various countries, and activities. www.earthwatch.com Amnesty International will give you information on a country's record regarding human rights violations. www.amnesty.org Archaeology Homepage: archaeology.about.com/archaeology History, Geology, and Cultures-National Geographic Magazine gives various information about countries and natural processes. www.nationalgeographic.com Travelocity: www.travelocity.com World Newspapers: www.all-links.com/newscentral/ Earth from space is the collection of NASA earth photographs. You can search by country. earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs Geographic nameserver for the U.S. and territories: geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnis/web_query.gnis_web_query_form Geography teaching tools: www.geomatters.com/products/category.asp?CID=46

Other sites The Jules Verne Society of North America: www.najvs.org/ Complete list of Verne’s works: jv.gilead.org.il/biblio/

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A ro u n d t h e Wo r l d

Travel Web Sites

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Jules Verne: Narratives of Modernity, edited by Edmund Smyth


In the Classroom

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1) Have your students plot their own trip. To help them they can use the Web sites listed on the additional resources pages, an atlas or other tools. How long would this trip take today? What about during other time periods? 2) Based on the work the students did in question 1, how would the students deal with the other cultures? Walk them through the difficult steps. How do they know how to behave? How would they deal with the language differences? How could they get money? They can write scripts and act out the various scenarios. 3) Why do the students think this is such a classic tale? Does it still interest them? Why do they think it has stood the test of time? 4) What did Fogg’s ability to complete his trip in 80 days mean for the readers of Verne’s time? Verne is known for being a forward thinker in terms of technology, why might he have chosen this plot line to talk about technology? Would it have captured the Victorian imagination? Does it still capture the imagination of your students? Why or why not?

Prop Metaphor - Object Transformation In Around The World in 80 Days, Actors make use of the objects in a single room to transform their immediate world into numerous other worlds. In the theatrical world we call it Object Transformation - or prop metaphor. By manipulating an object in certain way, a new definition can be obtained. 1. Gather a basket of everyday objects: coffee filter, pots, egg beater, etc. 2. Give students a chance to observe what's in the basket, paying attention to size shape and color of objects. 3. Ask students to volunteer to create another definition for an object through an action. For example, a coffee filter can be a megaphone used by a politician, etc. 4. After one round of brainstorming, give the students a setting where certain objects might be found. A doctor’s office, the DMV, a restaurant etc. Follow up with guided noticing questions: What do you notice? What else do you notice? What do you think is happening, and what is your evidence?

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James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

PRESENTS

DRIVING MISS DAISY BY

ALFRED UHRY DIRECTED BY Robert Moss SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

Troy Hourie

Michael Krass

Matt Richards

SOUND DESIGN

ORIGINAL MUSIC COMPOSED BY

STAGE MANAGER

Jonathan Herter

Robert Waldman

Ryan Raduechel

CORPORATE SPONSORS

SEASON SPONSORS

Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. in New York. Driving Miss Daisy was first produced Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons, New York City in 1987. It was subsequently produced by Jane Harmon/Nina Keneally, Ivy Properties, Ltd./Richard Frankel, Gene Wolsk/ Alan M. Shore and Susan S. Myerberg in association with Plawrights Horizons, Off-Broadway in 1987.

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Meet the playwright Alfred Uhry (1936 -)

A

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lfred Uhry began his career as a lyric writer, under contract to the late Frank Loesser. In that capacity he made his Broadway debut in 1968 with Here's Where I Belong. He then wrote the book and lyrics for The Robber Bridegroom and was nominated for a Tony Award. He followed that with five re-created musicals at the Goodspeed Opera House. In 1987 his first play, Driving Miss Daisy, opened at Playwrights Horizons Theatre in New York. It was subsequently moved by producers Jane Harmon and Nina Keneally to the John Houseman Theatre where it ran for more than 1,300 performances. The play earned many awards, including the Outer Critics Circle Award and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. For the film version, Uhry won an Academy Award, and the film itself was voted Best Picture of the Year. Other films include Mystic Pizza and Rich in Love. Uhry's second play, The Last Night Of Ballyhoo, which was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, opened on Broadway in February 1997. It has been chosen Best Play by the American Theatre Critics Association, the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama League, as well as winning the 1997 Tony Award for best play. One of his more recent plays was Parade, a musical about the Leo Frank case, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and directed by Harold Prince. His film projects include a new adaptation of Dodsworth for Time Warner, Cut Flowers for Miramax, and Taft, commissioned by Morgan Freeman. Alfred Uhry had been writing for musical theatre for twenty-five years when his first nonmusical play,

Driving Miss Daisy, became a surprise smash hit. Originally slated to run for five weeks at a small theatre in New York City, demand for tickets was so high that it moved to a larger theatre where it ran for about three years. In the preface to the published play, Uhry commented on the experience: “When I wrote this play I never dreamed I would be writing an introduction to it because I never thought it would get this far … When I wonder how all this happened … I can come up with only one answer. I wrote what I knew to be the truth and people have recognized it as such.” Indeed, the numerous critics who lauded the play displayed remarkable similarity in their comments. They liked the play’s sincerity, dignity, and honesty. Dealing with issues that plague all people — white or African-American, northern or southern – the appeal of Driving Miss Daisy is universal. Driving Miss Daisy went on to become an equally successful movie, winning — in addition to Best Picture — Best Actress for its star Jessica Tandy, and Best Screenplay Adaptation for Uhry.

His work America's Sweetheart 1985 Driving Miss Daisy 1987 Here's Where I Belong 1968 Last Night Of Ballyhoo 1997 Little Johnny Jones 1982 Robber Bridegroom 1974 Swing 1980 Without Walls 2006

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Decades of Change Timeline of Civil Rights Events

1947: First Freedom Ride organized the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

1957: Martin Luther King leads the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott.

1967: H. Rap Brown succeeds Carmichael, continuing the radicalization of the movement. Race riots erupt in Newark, Detroit, and thirty other cities. 1968: Martin Luther King is assassinated. Riots break out in Washington, D.C., and other cities. 1972: Congress passes the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, opening the door to affirmative action.

1960: The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organizes lunch-counter sit-ins to protest discrimination in public accommodations in North Carolina. 1963: Massive protests against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama meet with severe police retaliation led by Sheriff "Bull" Connors. In Washington, 250,000 demonstrators assemble at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to hear Martin Luther King deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech. A church bombing in Birmingham kills several black children. 1964: Mississippi "freedom summer:" more than 1000 students, teachers, and others converge on Mississippi to organize black voters. Three civil rights workers are murdered. Congress passes the Civil Rights Act. 1965: Demonstrations in Selma, Alabama, calling for voting rights are met with stiff police resistance. Congress passes Voting Rights Act. Riots in the Watts district of Los Angeles leave 34 dead.

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D r iv i n g M i s s D a i s y

1954: The Supreme Court outlaws segregated schools in Brown v. the Board of Education.

1966: Stokeley Carmichael becomes the leader of SNCC; he begins to call for "black power," moving the civil rights movement in a more radical direction.

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Driving Miss Daisy takes place from 1948 to 1973, a tumultuous time in the history of the United States. They include the most important developments in the civil rights movement. Here is a brief chronology of those events:


Strangers in the South Recalling Miss Daisy’s Time and Place

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ne day, 31 years ago, we received a telephone call at my house telling us not to come for religious school that morning because of a bombing, which fortunately took place before anyone was there. Watching Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy brings back many memories for me, a Jew from Atlanta. Uhry's story is based on his grandmother, a well-to-do woman who lived in Atlanta, and her 25-year-long, often testy, relationship with her black chauffeur. The play and the film explore touchy subjects — the relationship between Jews and blacks, the tenuous position of being Jewish in the South and the drive toward assimilation among many Jews. There's a scene in which Miss Daisy goes to the house of her son and his wife for a Christmas party. Miss Daisy disapproves of this attempt to fit in with the larger culture. Knowing what it's like to be left out, on a daily basis, should have given us southern Jews a distinct bond with blacks. Yet, Atlanta took no official notice when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize, and so a testimonial was organized by a few citizens, including the rabbi of The Temple. A well-educated retired teacher, Miss Daisy protests a couple of times, "I'm not prejudiced." And she buys tickets for the dinner. But Miss Daisy also speaks of blacks as "them," belittles her maid and chauffeur, and talks to them in sharp language that she would be unlikely ever to use toward a white person. She also insults Hoke by mentioning to him that she had thought of inviting him to use an extra ticket to the King dinner, but figured he didn't want to go.

I found another section of Driving Miss Daisy disturbing, because it showed a truly dangerous part of being a Jew in the South: being so afraid that you might be next that you may not follow your own heart or beliefs.

spurned, in subtle but economically devastating ways, if those of his colleagues who are prejudiced find out about his attendance. "They'd call me Martin Luther Werthan behind my back," he says. It's a realistic moment. When I was young, there were a couple of times I could have participated in interracial symposiums or events — the kind of symbolic get-together sponsored by organizations that were supposed to show how far the civil-rights movement had come. Each time, my parents forbade it, afraid that something might happen to me, and adding that as a Jew, I was especially vulnerable to being attacked by those who were against the integration of black and white. My parents' fear was not unfounded. That bombing of The Temple, you see, which took place in 1958, was thought to be the result of our rabbi's (and, by extension, the temple's) active role in the civil-rights movement. The people who hated blacks also generally hated Jews — and, linked, they were double anathema. I'm glad to report that the bombing didn't stop our rabbi or congregation from pursuing civil-rights activism. Although the impulse to retreat, to lay low — just like the impulse to display Santa or join the Christian Fellowship — must have been strong, another line of reasoning took over. As Jews in Germany, many of whom lived very assimilated lives, discovered, the haters will get you anyway. It's safer, in the long run, to work to change society, to make it clear to more and more people that prejudice and hate are not acceptable, or at least to make it the law that they're not. Playwright-screenwriter Uhry presents a well-modulated and tolerant portrait, not only of a dignified black man who has made his peace with the way he's treated, but of the complicated situation of Jews in the South — the unconscious prejudices and the fear of being too different, along with all the decent actions, even in the face of sometimes terrifying consequences.

The reason Miss Daisy has an extra ticket to the King dinner is that her son, Boolie, declines to accompany her. A successful businessman, he's afraid that he'll be

Aileen Jacobson

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Additional Resources Sachar, Howard M. A History of Jews in America. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

D r iv i n g M i s s D a i s y

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Web: www.enotes.com/driving-miss/16473 www.myjewishlearning.com/history_community/Mo dern/Overview_The_Story_19481980/America/PeerPolitics/CivilRghts.htm www.chelseaforum.com/speakers/uhry.htm www.thepublictheatre.org Driving Miss Daisy – video recording Warner Home Video, c 1991.

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In the Classroom Questions for Discussion D r iv i n g MSyracusStage iSyracusStage ss Daisy

1. Does the title Driving Miss Daisy have more than a literal meaning? If so, what are some of the non-literal possibilities? 2. Why does Uhry include the scene in which Hoke tells Boolie that another family is trying to hire him as a driver? What is the significance of Hoke's last question in that scene? How does it relate to the overall themes of the play? 3. Why does Miss Daisy keep insisting she is not rich? Why does she keep referring back to the economic hardships of her childhood? 4. Why does Hoke put up with Miss Daisy's rude treatment at the beginning of the play? How does this compare with his behavior in later scenes? 5. Why does Hoke bring up the fact of the Werthan's Jewishness immediately during his interview with Boolie? 6. Why does the playwright show us Hoke feeding Miss Daisy in the last scene of the play? 7. Describe the difference between the ways Hoke and Miss Daisy speak? Consider figures of speech as well as grammar and pronunciation.

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24


James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

PRESENTS

THE EXCELLUS BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD FAMILY HOLIDAY SERIES PRODUCTION OF

A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY

CHARLES DICKENS ADAPTED BY

GERARDINE CLARK DIRECTED BY Rodney Hudson MUSICAL DIRECTOR

SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

Nathan Hurwitz

Tony Cisek

Tracey Dorman

LIGHTING DESIGN

SOUND DESIGN

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER

Dawn Chiang

Jonathan Herter

Stuart Plymesser

EXCLUSIVE CORPORATE SPONSOR

SEASON SPONSORS

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A Sugar Plum Story The plot

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t is Christmas Eve, and Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly owner of a successful counting house, spends yet another Christmas season trying to kill the joyful spirit of those around him. This day before Christmas finds Scrooge ignoring well-wishers, specifically his nephew, and allowing his underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, only one day off for Christmas. As Cratchit heads home to his humble family celebration, Scrooge reminds him to be in extra early the next day. At home, Scrooge receives a visit from the ghost of his long-dead business partner, Jacob Marley. The ghost explains that he is condemned to restless wandering because he did nothing good for humankind while he was alive. He tells Scrooge that there is still time to save himself from the same fate, but Scrooge won't listen. In an attempt to convince Scrooge to change, Marley sends the spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come, who take Scrooge on three psychological journeys. The Ghost of Christmas Past forces Scrooge to visit neglected friends, his now-dead sister, and his young sweetheart who left him when his greed became overpowering. Scrooge then travels with the Ghost of Christmas Present to two homes Cratchit's (where the youngest child, Tiny Tim, is ill) and Scrooge's nephew's. In each home, Christmas is celebrated joyfully, and the families even raise their glasses in an ironic toast to Scrooge himself. Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leads Scrooge to the sorrowful scene following Tiny Tim's death, and eventually to his own terrifying and lonely grave. These chilling scenes of the future finally spur Scrooge to action. He awakes from his "dream" and begins to celebrate life. Overflowing with his newfound Christmas cheer, Scrooge showers the Cratchits with gifts and his nephew with long-overdue love, demonstrating that even he can change and make his life more meaningful.

Cast of Characters Ensemble Scrooge Bob Cratchit Fred Silent Night Girl Mrs. Moggs Marley Christmas Past Schoolboys Boy Scrooge Mr. Cruikshank Fan Fezziwig Young Scrooge Dick Wilkins Mrs. Fezziwig Miss Belle Grant Christmas Present Mrs. Cratchit Peter Belinda Martha Tiny Tim Alf Ted Arthur Mrs. Fred Annabella Topper Christmas Future Exchange Gentleman 1 - 3 Mrs. Dilber Old Joe Undertaker's Assistant Caroline Edward Man 1 - 4 Woman 1 - 4 Brother 1 -2 Man 4's Nephew

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Meet the Author Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870) success. Dickens and Catherine Hogarth married in 1836 and during the same year he became editor of Bentley's Miscellany. Around the same time, he published his second Sketches, and met John Forster, who would become his closest friend and confidant as well as his first biographer.

In 1829, he became a reporter. In 1834, still a newspaper reporter, he adopted the soon to be famous pseudonym “Boz.” His impecunious father (who was the original of Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield, as Dickens’s mother was the original for the querulous Mrs. Nickleby) was once again arrested for debt, and Charles was forced to come to his aid. Later in his life both of his parents (and his brothers) were frequently after him for money. In 1835 he met and became engaged to Catherine Hogarth.

He began Nicholas Nickleby in 1838, and continued through October 1839, in which year Dickens resigned as editor of Bentley's Miscellany.

The first series of Sketches by Boz was published in 1836, and that same year Dickens was hired to write short texts to accompany a series of humorous sporting illustrations by Robert Seymour, a popular artist. Seymour committed suicide after the second edition, however, and under these peculiar circumstances Dickens altered the initial conception of The Pickwick Papers, which became a novel (illustrated by Hablot K. Browne, “Phiz,” whose association with Dickens would continue for many years). The Pickwick Papers continued in monthly parts through November 1837, and, to everyone's surprise, it became an enormous popular

The first number of Master Humphrey's Clock appeared in 1840, and he began The Old Curiosity Shop and shortly thereafter Barnaby Rudge. In 1842, he embarked on a visit to Canada and the United States where he became an advocate for international copyright. Unscrupulous American publishers were pirating his works. He also spoke out against slavery in his American Notes, which created a furor in America. He commented unfavorably on the apparently universal — and, so far as Dickens was concerned, highly distasteful — American predilection for chewing tobacco and spitting the juice. Martin Chuzzlewit, part continued

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C h r i s t m a s C a ro l

After the success of Pickwick, Dickens embarked on a fulltime career as a novelist, although he continued, as well, his journalistic and editorial activities. Oliver Twist was begun in 1837, and continued in monthly parts until April 1839. It was in 1837, too, that Catherine's younger sister Mary, whom Dickens idolized, died. She too would appear, in various guises, in Dickens's later fiction. A son, Charles, the first of 10 children, was born in the same year.

After his father’s release, he was able to attend school for three years. At fifteen, he began work as an office boy in an attorney’s office.

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harles Dickens was born to a family of modest means. His father, John, was a clerk in the Naval Pay Office. When Charles was 12, his father was imprisoned for debt. Most of the family joined the father in the Marshalsea Prison, but Charles was put to work at Warren's Blacking Factory. The experience haunted him throughout his life providing fodder and the themes of alienation and betrayal that permeate much of his work.


Meet the Author continued

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of which was set in a not very flatteringly portrayed America, was begun in 1843, and ran through July 1844. A Christmas Carol, the first of Dickens's enormously successful Christmas books — each, though they grew progressively darker, was intended as “a whimsical sort of masque intended to awaken loving and forbearing thoughts” — was published in December 1844. In that same year, Dickens and his family toured Italy. They remained abroad much of the time — in Italy, Switzerland, and France — until 1847. During that time, he published The Chimes (1844) and debuted his amateur theatrical company, which would occupy a great deal of his time from then on. The Cricket and the Hearth, a third Christmas book, was published in December, and his Pictures From Italy appeared in 1846 in the Daily News, a paper which Dickens founded and of which, for a short time, he was the editor. In 1847, in Switzerland, Dickens began Dombey and Son, which ran until April 1848. The Battle of Life appeared in December of that year. In 1848 Dickens also wrote an autobiographical fragment, directed and acted in a number of amateur theatricals, and published what would be his last Christmas book, The Haunted Man, in December. 1849 saw the birth of David Copperfield, which would run through November 1850. In that year, too, Dickens founded and installed himself as editor of the weekly Household Words, which would be succeeded, in 1859, by All the Year Round, which he edited until his death. 1851 was the year he worked on Bleak House, which appeared monthly from 1852 until September 1853. In 1853, he returned to England from another Italian trip and began giving a series of public readings of his own writings. Hard Times began to appear weekly in Household Words in 1854, and continued until August. In 1855 when the family went to Paris, Dickens began Little Dorrit, which continued in monthly parts until

June 1857. The year 1856 also saw a lot of activity. He co-wrote a play, The Frozen Deep, and he purchased Gad's Hill, an estate he had admired since childhood. Hans Christian Anderson visited the family there. It was during the production of The Frozen Deep, that he met an actress, Ellen Ternan, who was in the cast. He fell in love with her, and he soon after left his wife. In 1859 his London readings continued, and he began a new weekly, All the Year Round. The first installment of A Tale of Two Cities appeared in the opening number, and the novel continued through November. By 1860, the Dickens family had taken up residence at Gad's Hill. Dickens, during a period of retrospection, burned many personal letters, and re-read his own David Copperfield, the most autobiographical of his novels, before beginning Great Expectations, which appeared weekly until August 1861. Our Mutual Friend was begun in 1864, and appeared monthly until November 1865. Dickens was in poor health, due largely to his ambitious schedule of public readings and constant work. A train accident made his health problems worse. By 1867, Dickens was quite unwell but carried on, compulsively, against his doctor's advice. Late in the year he embarked on an American reading tour, which continued into 1868. Dickens's health was worsening, but he took over still another physically and mentally exhausting task, editorial duties at All the Year Round. During 1869, his readings continued, in England, Scotland, and Ireland, until at last he collapsed, showing symptoms of mild stroke. Further provincial readings were cancelled, but he began upon The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Dickens's final public readings took place in London in 1870. He suffered another stroke on June 8 at Gad's Hill, after a full day's work on Edwin Drood, and died the next day. He was buried at Westminster Abbey on June 14, and the last episode of the unfinished Mystery of Edwin Drood appeared in September.

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Birth of a Classic D

ickens' cherished Christmas story, the best loved and most read all of his books, began life as the result of the author's desperate need of money. In the fall of 1843 Dickens and his wife Kate were expecting their fifth child. Requests for money from his family, a large mortgage on his Devonshire Terrace home, and lagging sales from the monthly installments of Martin Chuzzlewit, had left Dickens seriously short of cash.

As the idea for the story took shape and the writing began in earnest, Dickens became engrossed in the book. He wrote that as the tale unfolded he “wept and laughed, and wept again” and that he “walked about the black streets of London fifteen or twenty miles many a night when all sober folks had gone to bed.” At odds with his publishers, Dickens paid for the production cost of the book himself and insisted on a lavish design that included a gold-stamped cover and four hand-colored etchings. He also set the price at 5 shillings so the book would be affordable to nearly everyone. The book was published during the week before Christmas 1843 and was an instant sensation but due to the high production costs, Dickens' earning from the sales were lower than expected. In addition to the disappointing profit from the book Dickens was enraged that the work was instantly the victim of pirated editions. All six thousand copies of the first printing sold out, and two thousand copies of the second printing were committed before publication. Fifteen thousand copies were sold within a year. Eight London theatre companies had dramatic versions of Dickens' novel running by February. These extremely popular productions added songs and sometimes characters to Dickens' text to enhance the melodrama.

Despite these early financial difficulties, Dickens' Christmas tale of human redemption has endured beyond his vivid imagination. It was a favorite during Dickens' public readings of his works which he continued to do until his second stroke in 1870. His tomb in Westminster Abby in London reads, "He was a sympathizer to the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England¹s greatest writers is lost to the world." In the 160 years since Dickens' novel was published, it has been retold and adapted more often and in more ways than perhaps any other fictional work. Its story has been told as a ballet, opera, musical, film, television special, puppet show, orchestral work, and cartoon. Paul Davis's book The Life and Times of Ebenezer Scrooge documents his research on the historical legacy of A Christmas Carol; in it he suggests that every age "recreates the story in response to its own cultural needs." For example, Davis shows that Victorian versions treated Carol as a parable, a secular "retelling of the Biblical Christmas story." In the early 1900s it became primarily a children's story; a few decades later in the late 1920s and early 1930s, versions of A Christmas Carol focused on the story as a "denunciation of capitalism" and a way to escape the harsh economic reality of the Depression era. The Scrooge of the '60s became a Freudian figure whose subconscious emerges in the form of Marley and the ghosts. More recently, Scrooge has become again "a social figure placed in the center of unsettling economic realities," much as he was for readers in Dickens' day. A Christmas Carol's message of generosity and social responsibility has prevailed for 160 years, reminding readers and audiences of the holiday season’s true spirit. As Paul Davis notes, "Dickens may have framed our thoughts and established the broad outlines of the story, but the Carol is rewritten each Christmas, and Scrooge, an altered spirit, appears anew with each telling."

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C h r i s t m a s C a ro l

In February of 1843, the Parliament released an unsettling report on child labor. Dickens searched for a response. He talked about writing a pamphlet "on behalf of the Poor Man's Child" and striking a literary "sledge-hammer" by the year's end. In October Dickens gave an address in Manchester to a group of working class people, and was stirred by them to write a "Christmas story addressed to a similarly broad national audience." He completed the manuscript of A Christmas Carol by the end of November.

Although Dickens had his misgivings about many of these productions, he made no attempt to shut any of them down. In fact, Dickens later did his own stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol, then performed it in a public reading, playing all the roles himself. He continually reworked the text, changing the performance to suit each different audience.

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Inspiration for A Christmas Carol


Did you know?

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Christmas Carol Factoids NAME Farthing ha'penny Pence Shilling Half-a-crown Crown Pound Guinea

AMOUNT 1/4 of a penny 1/2 of a penny penny 12 pence (also known as a “bob”) 21/2 shillings, or 30 pence 5 shillings or 60 pence 20 shillings or 240 pence 21 shillings

APPEARANCE copper copper silver silver silver silver gold (or notes) gold (or notes)

Tiny Tim’s Disease?

I

n the December 1992 issue of the American Journal of Diseases of Children Dr. Donald Lewis, an assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology at the Medical College of Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia, theorized that Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit's ailing son in Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol, suffered from a kidney disease that made his blood too acidic. Dr. Lewis studied the symptoms of Tim's disease in the original manuscript of the 1843 classic. The disease, distal renal tubular acidosis (type I), was not recognized until the early 20th century but therapies to treat its symptoms were available in Dickens' time. Dr. Lewis explained that Tim's case, left untreated due to the poverty of the Cratchit household, would produce the symptoms alluded to in the novel. According to the Ghost of Christmas Present, Tim was supposed to die within a year. The fact that he did not die, due to Scrooge's new-found generosity, means that the disease was treatable with proper medical care. Dr. Lewis consulted medical textbooks of the mid 1800s and found that Tim's symptoms would have been treated with alkaline solutions which would counteract the excess acid in his blood and recovery would be rapid. While other possibilities exist, Dr. Lewis feels that the treatable kidney disorder best fits "the hopeful spirit of the story." — Guthrie Theater, The University of North Texas and Tony Giacomelli

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No Time for Christmas Poverty and children in Dickens’ England

All these factors — population explosion, immigration both foreign and domestic — resulted in a scramble for any job available. Large numbers of both skilled and unskilled people were looking for work, so wages were low, barely above subsistence level. If work dried up, or was seasonal, men were laid off. In an agricultrucal economy, men could still feed their families when this happened. In the cities, they could not. So children were expected to contribute to the family budget. They often worked long hours in dangerous jobs and in difficult situations for a very little wage. There were the climbing boys employed by the chimney sweeps; the little children who could scramble under machinery to retrieve cotton bobbins; boys and girls working down the coal mines, crawling through tunnels too narrow and low to take an adult. Some children worked as errand boys, crossing sweepers, shoe blacks, and they sold matches, flowers and other cheap goods. Low wages and the scramble for jobs meant that people needed to live near to where work was available. Time taken walking to and from work would extend an already long day beyond endurance. Consequently available housing became scarce and therefore expensive, resulting

These problems were magnified in London where the population grew at a record rate. Large houses were turned into flats and tenements and the landlords who owned them, were not concerned about the upkeep or the condition of these dwellings. In his book The Victorian Underworld, Kellow Chesney gives a graphic description of the conditions in which many were living: ‘Hideous slums, some of them acres wide, some no more than crannies of obscure misery, make up a substantial part of the, metropolis … In big, once handsome houses, thirty or more people of all ages may inhabit a single room.’ Many people could not afford the rents that were being charged and so they rented out space in their room to one or two lodgers who paid between twopence and fourpence a day. Great wealth and extreme poverty lived side by side because the tenements, slums and rookeries were only a stone’s throw from the large elegant houses of the rich. Henry Mayhew was an investigative journalist who wrote a series of articles for the Morning Chronicle about the way the poor of London lived and worked. In an article published on 24th September 1849 he described a London street with a tidal ditch running through it, into which drains and sewers emptied. The ditch contained the only water the people in the street had to drink, and it was ‘the colour of strong green tea’, in fact it was ‘more like watery mud than muddy water’. This is the report he gave: ‘As we gazed in horror at it, we saw drains and sewers emptying their filthy contents into it; we saw a whole tier of doorless privies in the open road, common to men and women built over it; continued

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The industrial revolution brought people to the cities. Larger families; more children surviving infancy; people living longer; immigration, especially large numbers of immigrants coming from Ireland fleeing the potato famine and the unemployment situation in their own country, all contributed to the rise in the urban poor. By the end of the century, there were three times more people living in Great Britain than at the beginning.

in extremely overcrowded conditions.

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he nineteenth century saw a huge growth in the population of Great Britain, especially in the cities.


No Time for Christmas

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continued we heard bucket after bucket of filth splash into it’

real threat to society. Something had to be done about them to preserve law and order.

Mayhew’s articles were later published in a book called London Labour and the London Poor and in the introduction he wrote:

Many people thought that education was the answer and Ragged schools were started to meet the need. However there were dissenting voices against this. Henry Mayhew argued that:

“…the condition of a class of people whose misery, “since crime was not caused by illiteracy, it could not ignorance, and vice, amidst all the immense wealth be cured by education … the only and great knowledge of ‘the certain effects being the emerfirst city in the world, is, to say "They [left the busy scene] and gence of a more skillful and the very least, a national diswent into an obscure part of town sophisticated race of criminals.” grace to us.” where Scrooge had never penetrated before, although he recognized One of the difficulties in dealing Many cases of death caused its situation and its bad repute. The with it were contemporary attiby starvation and destitution ways were foul and narrow: the tudes: were reported. In 1850 an shops and houses wretched: the inquest was held on a 38 year people half-naked, drunken, slip“The poor were improvident, they old man whose body was shod and ugly. Alleys and archways wasted any money they had on reported as being little more like so many cesspools disgorged drink and gambling; than a skeleton, his wife was their offenses of smell and dirt, and described as being ‘the very life upon the struggling streets and “God had put people in their personification of want’ and the whole quarter reeked with place in life and this must not be her child as a “skeleton crime, with filth and misery.’ interfered with because the life infant.” after death was more important.” There were children living A hymn published in 1848 by with their families in these Cecil Frances Alexander: desperate situations but there were also numerous, homeless, destitute children living on the streets of “The rich man in his castle, London. The poor man at his gate, God made them, high and lowly, Many children were turned out of home and left to fend for themselves at an early age and many more ran And order’d their estate.” away because of ill treatment. As the century progressed the plight of the poor, and of the destitute homeless children, impinged on the conIn her book The Victorian Town Child, Pamela Horn sciences of more and more people. The Victorian era writes: can also be thought of as one of intense philanthropy. Many of our modern day charitable institutions, such In 1848 Lord Ashley referred to more than 30,000 as The Children's Society, have their roots at this time. ”naked, filthy, roaming lawless and deserted children, in and around the metropolis.” Barbara Daniels

Many destitute children lived by stealing, and to the respectable Victorians they must have seemed a very

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In the Classroom For K-5 students: 1) Have your students read Dickens' original story of A Christmas Carol, or read it to them in class.

3) Ask your students why they think Scrooge became so selfish.

5) Discuss other holidays with your students, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Make sure to mention the importance of symbols (such as a Christmas tree, a menorah, and a kinara) to each of the holidays. What other symbols can your students think of that are important to these holidays? 6) Have older students research holiday traditions around the world. (Suggest that the students choose the country from which their families originated.) 7) Ask your students to share some of their family holiday traditions with the class. If they did activity six, ask them to share how their own celebrations compare or contrast to those they discovered in other countries. 8) Have your students create their own class holiday custom. Spread the idea around the school, and have each class share their new custom with the others.

For Middle and High School Students: 1) Have your students read Dickens' original story. Hold a discussion or have them write a short essay about the similarities and differences between Dickens' story and our production. 2) Divide your students into groups, have them choose their favorite section of the story, and give them a chance to dramatize the scene for their classmates. Encourage them, if possible, to use simple costumes, set pieces, and music to enhance their scenes. 3) Dickens wrote many holiday stories, such as Cricket on the Hearth and The Goblins Who Stole the Sexton. Ask your students to read some of Dickens' other Christmas tales. What similarities and differences did they discover between the stories and A Christmas Carol? 4) Hold a discussion with your students about our society's preoccupation with money and material objects. How important are money and material possessions to them? Do we as a society need to change our opinions about the importance of money?

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C h r i s t m a s C a ro l

4) Hold a discussion with your students about why they think some people become too interested in money and material things. Do they think this is good or bad?

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2) Ask your students which characters they liked best and least in the story, and why.


In the Classroom continued 5) Hold a discussion with your students to compare society's treatment of the holidays (i.e., the decorations at the Mall, advertisements on TV, holiday specials) with what Dickens was trying to say in A Christmas Carol. 6) What do your students think is the true meaning of the holidays?

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7) Ask your students to write their own short story or play about the meaning of the holidays. 8) Hold a discussion with your students about holiday customs here and around the world. If you plan to have a holiday party with your class, encourage them to create a new holiday custom. — Alisha Tonsic, Sandra Moskovitz, and Leslie Hempling Edited by Dr. Kathleen Cioffi

Additional Resources Chesterton, G.K. Charles Dickens. New York: Shocken Books, 1965. Crotch, W. Walter. Charles Dickens: Social Reformer. London: Chapman & Hall, Ltd., 1913. Cruikshank, R.J. Charles Dickens and Early Victorian England. New York: Chanticleer Press, 1949. Davis, Paul. The Life and Times of Ebenezer Scrooge. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Jackson, T.A. Charles Dickens: The Progress of a Radical. New York: International Publishers, 1987. Pimlott, J.A.R. The Englishman's Christmas. Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1978.

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James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

PRESENTS

SPIKE HEELS BY

THERESA REBECK

DIRECTED BY Robert Moss SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

Marge Kellogg

Maria Marrero

Thom Weaver

SOUND DESIGN

STAGE MANAGER

Jonathan Herter

Ryan Raduechel

CORPORATE SPONSOR

SEASON SPONSORS

Spike Heels by Theresa Rebek is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

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Precarious Balance The World of Spike Heels

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Andrew had the best of intentions when he began to work with his upstairs neighbor, Georgie. He loaned her books, exposed her to culture, and got her a job in his best friend Edward's law firm. Relationships become tangled, blurred and too honest as the play progresses over a two-day span. The play begins when Andrew’s world begins to spiral out of control. Georgie meets up with Andrew one day after work, telling him that Edward tried to rape her. Andrew cares too much for Georgie. His feelings are getting in the way of his relationship with his fiance, Lydia. He’s incensed that Georgie not only continues to work for Edward but agreed to go on a date with him. All the characters must face how honest they are with themselves and each other. Originally staged as a workshop piece by the New York Stage and Film Company at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1990, the play was first produced in New York at the Second Stage Theatre in 1992. That first production starred Kevin Bacon as Edward. The play explores issues of sexual harassment, the control and use of women, self-determination and identity, and changing expectations of men in a feminist era. Its discussion of sexual harassment was timely; It coincidently premiered a few weeks after Anita Hill was hostilely questioned by Congress about her assertions that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had harassed her. Although the important New York critics were not universally fond of the play, it was a success in that over the next decade it was produced all over the country.

Characters

Theresa Rebeck’s Plays Bad Dates 2003 The Family Of Mann 1995 Loose Knit 1994 Mauritus 2006 Omnium Gatherum 2003 Spike Heels 1994 Sunday On The Rocks 1996 View of the Dome 1998 Water’s Edge 2004

Film & TV Catwoman (2004) (story) Sunday on the Rocks (2004) (play) (screenplay) Law & Order: Criminal Intent - “Legion” (2003) teleplay - “Baggage” (2003) teleplay - “Faith” (2002) teleplay - “Yesterday” (2002) teleplay - “The Pardoner's Tale” (2001) writer Gossip (2000/I) screenplay Third Watch - “Demolition Derby” (2000) writer Maximum Bob (1998) writer Total Security (1997) creator Harriet the Spy (1996) screenplay L.A. Law - “The Age of Insolence” (1994) writer - “Love on the Rox” (1992) writer NYPD Blue (2003) co-producer American Dreamer (1990) writer

Andrew is a professor of political philosophy at a small college in Boston Edward, a lawyer Georgie, a waitress Lydia, Andrew’s fiancee

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Meet the Playwright Theresa Rebeck

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Spike Heels

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heresa Rebeck's plays have been produced in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, London, and New York City. Her play The Family of Mann won the National Theatre Conference award for playwriting, and was named a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her play Spike Heels was seen in readings and workshops at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre and New York Stage and Film before being produced offBroadway at the Second Stage Theatre of New York in the spring of 1992, starring Kevin Bacon and Tony Goldwyn. Sunday on the Rocks was produced to critical acclaim in Boston, and was presented by the International Women in Theatre conference in 1987. Loose Knit was seen at New York Stage and Film, the Long Wharf Theatre, of New Haven, Second Stage, in New York, and The Source, in Washington. Her one-acts have been produced by Alice's Fourth Floor, the Westbank, Manhattan Punchline, Double Image, New Georges, Naked Angels and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others.

She collaborated with Bill Irwin on a piece produced by Seattle Rep in April of 1994 and recently completed the book for a musical based on the 19th century melodrama The Two Orphans. Rebeck also has written for the television series Dream On, Brooklyn Bridge, L.A. Law and NYPD Blue. Her play Mauritus premiered at Boston’s Huntington Theatre this fall. Rebeck earned her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing and her Ph.D. in Victorian Literature at Brandeis University, where she met her husband, the stage manager Jess Lynn.

Rebeck won a Writer's Guild award in 1995 for the NYPD Blue episode "Girl Talk."

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Paper vs. Screen Writing for two different worlds

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heresa Rebeck has balanced herself between two very different worlds. Unlike the many playwrights who have tasted Hollywood fame and not looked back, she keeps returning to the theatre for what she calls more freedom. Here are her thoughts on the difference between writing for television and writing for theatre: The most obvious difference is that one is live and one is not. There is a definite excitement to be watching the thing be enacted in front of you. The interference of a screen and the film itself takes a level of immediacy away. The level of complexitity in the language in the theatre works differently. You can slow the pace of the thing down quite a bit. In TV, things are moving forward at a really speedy clip. I’m a big believer in forward motion, but in the theatre you have more time. There’s also more freedom in the language. A lot of people make a big deal of obscenity. It’s not that big a deal. I didn’t make up the fact that women use the word (expletive). Fifteen years ago, when my character said it, there was some clucking. No one makes a big deal of (David) Mamet using it. In the theatre, it’s the one place women can sound real. In film and television, they won’t let you do it. There are so many censors built into the system. Because it is so much more expensive, there is a whole raft of bureaucrats who pick everything apart. The truism in film and television are that people can’t talk for that long. I don’t believe it myself. But it’s one of the givens of the bureaucracy. They are going to slice and dice and thin out your language. The sound you can achieve in the theatre is much richer and more complex. The language can achieve that level of the scope of the humanity you are providing.

I like writing for television. But often language and character are depleted and the jokes are always on the line. Its often just joke writing. I’m interested in plays that people can relate to. I want great story telling with emotional weight. I would ask students who come and see Spike Heels to consider what in the play would you never see on television? The other thing that works differently is place. If you have one long scene in one place, that’s something you can’t do on television. There is a sense that the audience will get bored. There was one scene in NYPD that was 11 minutes long. I was told that was outrageous, and it wouldn’t work. But it was fantastic. There was an episode of Homicide where the entire episode was in an interrogation room. The bureaucrats argue the form can’t hold it. But there are advantages. One of the great things about television is you get to stay with a character over a great period of time. It’s like those 19th-century serialized novels. (Charles Dickens’) Bleak House was published over the course of two years. People would wait for the moment the next chapter would come. You would live with those guys. Spike Heels is another example of something the bureaucrats wouldn’t allow. The politics of the play posit that women are sexually harassed. I was always interested in the fact that Georgie colluded with it. So the morality of it, that degree of ambiguity, would be unacceptable for bureaucrats in TV. There is something about the power structure not wanting to accept the power struggle within it.

For me theatricality is achieved by the poeticism of the language, the size of the story itself. I make no apology that I write in a idiom that has a poetic naturalism.

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Meet Theresa Rebeck "I spend a lot of time thinking about America, who we are as a people and a culture and a nation, and I have always felt that the theatre is a truly appropriate place to examine these issues, the way David Hare examines what it means to be British. What goes on in Washington, which is clearly power mongering of the highest order, has absolutely nothing to do with who we purport to be historically, which is why I think people are so tired of it all. We are all taught that being an American means striving for justice and equality, and we're offended that so many of our leaders seem more interested in sniping at each other than trying to enact those principles in law.

"In the early ‘90s, my work, which at the time I considered to be fairly straightforward comic realism, was increasingly being branded as "feminist." People thought I was making a big political statement; mostly what I was really trying to do was write what I knew, which was what it means for this one person (me) to be a woman in the late twentieth century in America." "As a writer, I have always considered it my job to describe the world as I know it; to struggle toward whatever portion of the truth is available to me. I am a feminist in that I believe that women are as fully human as men and that their experiences are as worthy of representation, as universally significant, as men's. I believe that the hero's journey is both male and female. I believe that, as a rule, women are as deeply flawed as men are. I'm interested in writing about the way both genders make mistakes and the ways we grow or don't grow. Unfortunately, as we live in a sexist world, these beliefs are still perceived as radical and dangerous by some of those who have appointed themselves the protectors of the culture.

"I have often thought that gender bias is the hidden sin of the American Theatre." "I am a woman, I am an American, I am a mother, I sometimes write for television, and I sometimes write movies; I play the piano, I knit, I rail at the universe; I am angry, I am sad; I am a comic realist, a misanthrope, and an idealist. There are many ways to categorize me, and my work. But for myself, I would most like to be considered a playwright."

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Spike Heels

“For years I have been wallowing in the belief that the world has gotten too wired; that social satire and documentary are now the same form. Sometimes when I try this theory out on people, they think I'm kidding. I'm not. In the post-Monica Lewinsky era, there is something both gratifying and disturbing about finding out how right I actually am."

"Over the years the critical unease with women playwrights and what they might actually choose to write about has become apparent to me. One male critic actually chose his review of my play Loose Knit as an opportunity to lecture me, and in fact all women playwrights, on the subjects that would be appropriate for women to write about. Many of my friends, upon reading this, were enraged at such a patently patriarchal arrogance. I got lots of phone calls about how unfair it all was. Now, years later, I laugh about it. What are you gonna do? Just last week, I had a producer gently castigate me for writing satires because, she sighed, "It makes you sound so angry." I pointed out that anger is not necessarily a bad thing for a writer to have. (Charles) Dickens was angry. (Richard) Sheridan was angry. (George Bernard) Shaw was angry. (John) Osborne was angry; (David) Mamet is angry. Angels in America, the most celebrated play of my lifetime, is a very angry play. She shrugged; I was once again being obtuse. Apparently, if men are angry, that's cultural, but a woman's anger is something else altogether."

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Her thoughts


In the Classroom

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Questions for Discussion Discuss with the students the differences between seeing a live play and watching a television show or a movie. Each artistic platform offers different opportunities to show plot, character and location. Plays often focus on one location and are intimate, character driven works. Dialogue has to describe the setting and environment. Theatre places a higher emphasis on metaphor. Movies can be epic in nature and provide an opportunity to examine beautiful vistas or the anguish seen through a closeup of an actor’s face. No one definition exists. The definition of what makes up a play could also be used to describe some independent character-driven movies, but for the sake of this exercise, have your students craft their own definitions. Here’s the start: Theatre

TV

intimate language is key longer scenes character drives the plot it’s live

can be serial very visual shorter scenes action drives the plot

When the class is done writing its definition of the differences, have the students take a story they all know — a novel read in class or classic child’s fable — and write two different treatments of the tale. Groups of students can write the treatment — the story synopsis and a scene of dialogue. The written assignments should show how each tale would be different if it were a play and if it were on television. How would the language be different? How would they handle location? Would they condense the characters in a play?

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Additional Resouces Jones, Constance. (1996). Sexual Harassment. New York: Facts on File.

MacKinnon, Catharine. Only Words. Harvard University Press, Boston, 1993. Morris, Celia. (1994). Bearing Witness: Sexual Harassment and Beyond: Everywoman's Story. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

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Spike Heels

Stein, Laura W. (1999). Sexual Harassment in America: A Documentary History. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. This book is part of a series published for high school and college students that provide key primary documents on contemporary issues. The documents in this volume are mostly key court decisions on sexual harassment issues, supplemented by regulation and reports, statutes, and portions of Congressional debate. Major headings include Defining Sexual Harassment, Sexual Harassment in Employment, Sexual Harassment in the Military, Sexual Harassment in Education, New Frontiers in Sexual Harassment Law, and The Supreme Court's Decisions from 1998.

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LeMoncheck, Linda and Mane Hajdin. (1997). Sexual Harassment: A Debate. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.


James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

Mark Cuddy Artistic Director

Janet Allen Artistic Director

John Quinlivan Managing Director

PRESENT

AUGUST WILSON’S

GEM OF THE OCEAN DIRECTED BY Timothy Douglas SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

Tony Cisek

Tracey Dorman

Peter Maradudin

SOUND DESIGN

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER

Jonathan Herter

Stuart Plymesser

CORPORATE SPONSORS

SEASON SPONSORS

Originally Produced on Broadway by Carole Shorenstein Hays, Jujamcyn Theatres Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

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C

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Gem of the Ocean

Ocean with bones of the slaves who lost their lives on itizen Barlow, a young African-American, arrives the treacherous voyage to America. Shortly afterward, in Pittsburgh in 1904, part of the wave of freed slaves and their children migrating from South to Eli reports that someone has set fire to the mill. North following the Civil War. While working at the Later, Solly, Eli and Black Mary help Aunt Ester guide local mill, Citizen steals a can of nails. Another man is Citizen to the City of Bones. Citizen is plunged into the accused and chooses suicide rather than face arrest and hold of the historic ship, Gem of the a life in which he would be unjustly Ocean, and experiences the slaves’ identified as a thief. Citizen hopes American society as a whole dreadful journey across the Atlantic. to unburden himself of the guilt he has a very short memory. Citizen learns that after losing most feels for the accused man’s death There are a lot of things we of the drinking water overboard and seeks out Aunt Ester, whose mid-journey, the Captain took the don't know or have allowed healing powers are legendary. At remaining water and left the slaves 285 years of age, Aunt Ester lives in ourselves to forget. I was visand crew to die. Many survived by a house with Eli, her friend and proiting a high school, Seward horrific but necessary means, and tector, and Black Mary, a young High School, in 1987, and 45 days later arrived in Charleston woman who takes in laundry to one of the students in the harbor. Finally, Citizen nears the earn a living and to whom Aunt classroom thought that slavCity gate, where he recognizes the Ester hopes to pass on her powers. ery had ended in 1960. He gatekeeper: it is the man who was Eli is intent on building a strong was very serious about it. accused of stealing the nails. Citizen wall around the house so that they — August Wilson acknowledges his guilt to the man, will be protected, physically and and is welcomed into the City of metaphorically, from the tyranny of Bones. Citizen returns from his jourBlack Mary’s brother, Caesar, the local law enforcement ney, and Aunt Ester, Black Mary, Eli and Solly greet him official. To the people of the Hill District, Caesar reprewith a song of celebration. When Caesar interrupts and sents a black man gone white, someone ready to accuses Solly of starting the mill fire, Solly smacks oppress and exploit his people for personal gain. Caesar with his walking stick and flees. Although the steel mills in Pittsburgh are booming, pay Aunt Ester sends Citizen to find the peddler Rutherford is low, and rent is high. Solly, Aunt Ester’s good friend Selig, to help smuggle Solly away. Citizen offers to go and sometime suitor, sees clearly the enormous ecowith them, and Selig, Citizen and Solly slip away as nomic and social barriers that face the newly arrived Caesar arrives to arrest Aunt Ester for aiding and abetAfrican-American workers. We learn from Solly that when the unjustly accused man chose death rather than ting a fugitive. However, the judge releases her, and she returns home. Citizen returns with news that Caesar has arrest for stealing the nails, he became a martyr in the shot Solly. Citizen and Selig bring Solly in, and Aunt eyes of the workers; they have not gone to work for Ester and Black Mary sing a hymn over Solly, as Eli three days and are now rioting. Caesar has arrested delivers a eulogy. Just then, Caesar comes back, this more than 200 people and even shot a man. time to arrest Citizen for his participation in Solly’s failed escape. Before he can discover anything, howevMeanwhile, Citizen confesses to Aunt Ester that it was er, Black Mary renounces him for his lack of compashe who stole the bucket of nails and that he had been sion for others. Without speaking, Caesar leaves. unable to confess to save the accused man’s life. He Citizen takes Solly’s walking stick and coat and leaves asks if she can wash his soul and start him on the road to continue Solly’s work, bringing his people to freeto redemption. Aunt Ester consents and instructs Citizen to collect some items he will need for his journey to the dom. City of Bones, a city built underwater in the Atlantic

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Plot Summary


Who’s Who

G e m o f t hSyracusStage eSyracusStage Ocean

A multigenerational family Aunt Ester Tyler: Both the physical and the mystical link between present and past. Her home is a sanctuary where troubled people come to be cleansed of guilt and sorrow. Aunt Ester’s birth, 285 years before the play takes place (1904), coincided with the arrival of the first shipment of African slaves in the English colonies. She is both the keeper and the transmitter of AfricanAmerican memory. “People say you crazy to remember. But I ain’t afraid to remember. I try to remember out loud. I keep my memories alive. I feed them. I got to feed them otherwise they’d eat me up. I got memories go way back. I’m carrying them for a lot of folk.” Black Mary: lives in Aunt Ester’s house, earning her living by taking in wash, cleaning people’s clothes. She is Aunt Ester’s chosen successor, although she doesn’t always relish the role. Citizen: A young African-American recently arrived in Pittsburgh from Alabama, seeking understanding and redemption from Aunt Ester for his role in the death of another man. “I don’t know, Miss Tyler. I feel like I got a hole inside me. People say you can help me.” Eli: Owns a rambling house in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, which he shares with Aunt Ester and Black Mary. He accompanied Aunt Ester north many years before, and now serves as her friend and protector. “I want a wall. See if I can keep Caesar on the other side. The way he going he gonna have everybody in jail.” Selig: A white traveling merchant who keeps track of and reports on people’s whereabouts and activities along his route. He is friends with Aunt Ester. “My mama say trouble is man made. Say if man didn’t make trouble it wouldn’t have to follow you. ”Selfnamed for biblical kings David and Solomon, the 67year-old Solly is Aunt Ester’s sometime suitor. He is an ex-slave and Underground Railroad worker who shares Aunt Ester’s sense of history and the need to keep its memory alive. “That’s sixty-two notches. That’s sixtytwo people I carried to Freedom. I was looking to make it sixty-three when Abraham Lincoln come along and changed all that.” Caesar: Black Mary’s brother, a police officer who rules his district with an iron hand, intent on using his power

to bring order to the confused masses who in his estimation can’t think for themselves.“People think the law is supposed to serve them. But anybody can see you serve it. There ain’t nothing above the law.”

Awards 2005 Gem of the Ocean Tony Award Best Play nominee 2001 King Hedley II Tony Award Best Play, Pulitzer Prize nominee 2000 Jitney Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play 1996 Seven Guitars Tony Award Best Play nominee Drama Desk Award Outstanding Play nominee Pulitzer Prize nominee 1992 Two Trains Running Tony Award Best Play nominee Pulitzer Prize nominee 1990 The Piano Lesson Tony Award Best Play nominee Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play Pulitzer Prize 1988 Joe Turner's Come and Gone Tony Award Best Play nominee Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play nominee 1987 Fences Tony Award Best Play. Pulitzer Prize, Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play 1985 Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Tony Award Best Play nominee, Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play

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August Wilson A

Wilson’s breakthrough came in 1982, when the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Theatre Center accepted Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for a workshop. The play opened on Broadway in 1984, and in 1985 it earned Wilson his first New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Even as Ma Rainey was enjoying its success, Wilson was planning further installments in what would become a ten-play cycle exploring the African-American experience in the 20th century, with a play for each decade.

Fences, Wilson’s second play to move to Broadway, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and also set a new Broadway record for the highest-grossing non-musical, bringing in $11 million in its first year, 1987. Seven more plays have since followed, joining Ma Rainey, Fences and Jitney, which was written in 1979 but later revised. Radio Golf, which completes the cycle as the 1990s play, premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre in April 2005, and finished a run at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles on September 18. It will be moving to Broadway in the 2006-07 season. With the completion of his extraordinarily ambitious ten-play cycle, Wilson has secured his place as one of the most important American playwrights of his generation. Broadway’s Virginia Theatre will be renamed for him on October 17, marking the first time a Broadway theatre has been named for an AfricanAmerican. In August of 2005, he announced that he has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. “It’s not like poker, you can’t throw your hand in,” Wilson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’ve lived a blessed life. I’m ready.” August Wilson died October 2, 2005.

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Gem of the Ocean

ugust Wilson was born Frederick August Kittel in 1945 in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, where he lived for 33 years. Wilson was the fourth of six children of a white German father and African-American mother. He began his writing career as a poet in the 1960s and 70s, while also involved in the civil rights movement and working odd jobs. In 1965 he bought his first typewriter with $20 his sister paid him to write a college term paper. Hoping to use theater to raise AfricanAmerican cultural consciousness, he co-founded Black Horizons, a community theatre in Pittsburgh, with Rob Penny in 1968. After producing and directing AfricanAmerican plays at Black Horizons, Wilson began writing his own plays in the early 70s. In 1976, the Kuntu Theatre staged his play The Homecoming, and in 1981 his first professionally produced play, a satirical Western called Black Bart and the Sacred Hills, was staged at the Penumbra Theatre.

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Meet the playwright


Cycle of History

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1900s: Gem of the Ocean Citizen Barlow arrives at Aunt Ester’s house seeking her help and a safe place from Caesar, the local constable. Aunt Ester, now 285 years old, takes him on a journey of self-discovery to the City of Bones, a mythical city in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Here he makes startling discoveries, and his sense of duty leads to his redemption. 1910s: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone Herald Loomis is searching for the wife he lost years ago after he joined a chain gang. His search brings him to Seth and Bertha’s boarding house, where “conjure man” Bynum shows him that he is really searching for himself. 1920s: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Music talents Ma Rainey and Levee learn that white society is not interested in their talents because of their skin color.

Pittsburgh’s Hill District 1930: The Piano Lesson Boy Willie wants to sell Berniece’s piano, decorated with family totems, in order to buy Sutter’s farmland. Berniece refuses, although she never uses it. Sutter’s ghost haunts the family until Berniece plays the piano, singing of her family’s history. 1940s: Seven Guitars Blues musician Floyd Barton gives his recording career a second try after his release from prison, until his life is cut short by a confused man named Hedley. 1950s: Fences Garbage collector Troy Maxon has difficulties with his son pursuing his dream of a football career after Troy’s own athletic hopes were erased by racism. Troy’s wife Rose takes responsibility for his baby from an affair with another woman but puts an end to the

intimate parts of their relationship. 1960s: Two Trains Running Set in a Pittsburgh restaurant, characters discuss modes of action African-Americans should take towards civil injustices in the late 1960s. Sterling has just been released from prison and insists on righting an injustice committed years earlier.

1970s: Jitney Set at a jitney stand in the Hill District, unlicensed taxi driver Becker is reunited with his son Booster, after Booster’s release from jail. Their time together is cut short when Becker is killed; yet Booster continues to learn from him about pride and himself. 1980s: King Hedley II Recently out of jail, King struggles to make a living selling refrigerators with his friend, Mister. To get the money to open their own video business, they decide to burglarize a jewelry store. King’s mother, Ruby, is reintroduced from Seven Guitars and is now living with him and his wife, Tonya. They worry about King’s illegal activities, and Tonya fears bringing a child into the world when King may end up in jail again or dead. 1990s: Radio Golf The Hill District is in decline, and federal money may be available for redevelopment—but Aunt Ester’s house in Wylie will have to be torn down. Harmond faces a moral struggle as he pursues financial success but risks losing his heritage and ethnic identity.

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Glossary Billy club: A short, wooden club carried by a policeman. Clodhoppers: Big, heavy shoes. This word implies that the wearer is unsophisticated or a country bumpkin.

County farm: Slang, referring to prison, especially one in which the prisoners perform outdoor labor. General Grant: Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885). A Civil War general made commander-in-chief of the Union army in 1864. He served two terms as the 18th President of the United States. Ham hock: The lower portion of a pig’s hind leg, usually smoked or cured and often used to flavor soups or beans. Hoecake: A thin cake made of cornmeal. “I Belong to the Band”: A traditional gospel song, which appeared in church songbooks as early as the 1830s. Moonshine: Illegally distilled, homemade whiskey. Opelika, Alabama: A small town in eastern Alabama, about 5 miles from Auburn. After the Civil War, the area was economically devastated. Samson: In the Old Testament Book of Judges, he was known for his extraordinary strength. God had instructed him never to cut his hair, and when Delilah betrayed him and cut off his hair, he lost his strength. Smote: Past tense of the verb “to smite,” meaning to strike or to inflict a heavy blow. Twelve Gates, Revelations 21:9-27 describes a new

W.C. Bryant: (1794-1878) An American poet, critic and editor who also studied law. He advocated many reforms, including abolition. He was the editor and part-owner of the New York Evening Post from 18291878.

Character names After abolition, most slaves who had previously borne their masters’ surnames, chose new names for themselves and for their children. They often took these names from the Bible, from their own family history, or from famous people they admired. Some names, such as Liberty, or Citizen were chosen to celebrate their new freedom. David, Solomon: David and Solomon were the second and third kings of Israel. David killed the Philistine giant Goliath and wrote many Psalms. Solomon was famous for his great wisdom. Junebug: A type of beetle very common across the United States and especially in the Northeast. The beetles may swarm in early summer and are very destructive to vegetation. Ester: In the Old Testament, Esther was a Jewish woman who became Queen of Persia and saved her people from genocide. This Hebrew name is from a Persian word meaning “star.” Eli: In the Old Testament, Eli was a Jewish priest and the teacher of Samuel, who became a great prophet. Caesar: Julius Caesar was a great general and became emperor of Rome.

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Gem of the Ocean

Consumption: Tuberculosis, a serious infectious disease of the lungs.

Jerusalem, a city made of gold and precious stones with twelve gates of pearl. Each gate is attended by an angel gatekeeper, each of whom is named for one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

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Aiding and abetting: A legal term for assisting someone in committing a crime.


Glossary continued

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Historical Terms Middle Passage: This was the middle leg of the triangular slave trade route. The first leg brought goods such as iron, gunpowder, and brandy from Europe to Africa. The Middle Passage took Africans to the Americas, where they were exchanged for tobacco, sugar and other goods. The final leg of the voyage carried those products back to Europe. The ships carrying slaves were very overcrowded, with 300-400 people packed into a small space with little ventilation. Historians believe that between ten and twenty percent of Africans transported died during the voyage, from disease or suicide, and far more were severely weakened or maimed. Underground Railroad: Organized in 1838, the Underground Railroad was a system for helping fugitive slaves escape to free states or to Canada. Local groups

of white abolitionists, often Quakers, and free blacks loosely organized systems for aiding the fleeing slaves. Harriet Tubman, of Auburn, was the most famous Underground Railroad conductor. Reconstruction After the Civil War, from 1865-1877, the Confederate states were administered by the federal government before being readmitted to the Union officially. Each Confederate state’s government was restructured, and as they ratified the 14th and 15th amendments to the United States Constitution, which protected the rights of black citizens and gave black men the right to vote, the states were readmitted. This was a period of political and economic reconstruction, as the devastated South began to shift from an agrarian to an industrial economy. Reconstruction officially ended when federal troops were withdrawn from the South, but the period left intense bitterness and division between black and white, North and South.

When I first started writing plays I couldn’t write good dialogue because I didn’t respect how black people talked. I thought that in order to make art out of their dialogue I had to change it, make it into something different. Once I learned to value and respect my characters, I could really hear them. I let them start talking. — August Wilson

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Important Dates 1641: Massachusetts is the first colony to legally recognize slavery.

1780: Pennsylvania becomes the first state to abolish slavery. 1808: End of international slave trade. Founding of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, first African-American church in Pittsburgh. 1831: Nat Turner, a slave in Virginia, leads a slave rebellion. Only 75 slaves join him, and they are quickly defeated by the state militia, and over 100 additional slaves are killed in retaliation. Rev. Lewis Woodson establishes a school for blacks in Pittsburgh. 1857: Dred Scott sues for his freedom in Missouri. A lower court initially finds in his favor, but the decision is reversed and Scott appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the majority decision, the Chief Justice writes that because Scott is black, he is not a citizen, and cannot sue. 1860: Abraham Lincoln is elected president.

1868: 14th Amendment ratified, prohibiting the states from denying the rights of citizenship to anyone born or naturalized in the United States. It is designed to protect the recently freed slaves. 1870: 15th Amendment ratified. It states that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Senator Hiram R. Revels of Mississippi and Representative Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina are elected to Congress. They are the first African-American members. Congress also passes the Enforcement Acts, a series of criminal codes that protect blacks’ rights to vote, hold office, serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. 1875: Civil Rights Act of 1875 passed, guaranteeing the rights of all Americans regardless of race. It is never enforced. It is the last Congressional effort to protect the civil rights of African-Americans for more than 50 years. 1883: Civil Rights Act of 1875 ruled unconstitutional. 1895: Booker T. Washington delivers his Atlanta Compromise speech, in which he suggests that blacks forego civil and political rights in favor of economic rights. It supports a “separate but equal” mentality, and vocational education for blacks. W.E.B. DuBois becomes the first African-American to receive a PhD from Harvard.

1861: Southern states secede from the Union. 1896: Plessy vs. Ferguson legalizes the “separate but equal” doctrine.

1863: Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves.

1901: Booker T. Washington dines at the White House.

1865: End of the Civil War. 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery, ratified. Ku Klux Klan organized in Tennessee as a social organization of Confederate veterans.

1903: W.E.B. DuBois publishes The Souls of Black Folk.

1866: Civil Rights Act passed to counteract “black codes,” which limit the rights of African-Americans in the South. This act ensures former slaves the right to

1904: Supreme Court decides that exclusion of African-Americans from juries is a violation of the 14th amendment.

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Gem of the Ocean

1776: Thomas Jefferson writes the Declaration of Independence. In his first draft, it includes language condemning the King for promoting slavery in the New World, but this language is later removed. At the time, Jefferson owns over 200 slaves.

enter contracts, sue, witness in court and own property.

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1619: A Dutch ship carrying a cargo of Africans pirated from a Spanish ship arrives in Virginia and trades slaves for food.


The Hill District

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Wilson’s home The Hill District is a sprawling 650 acres that faces Pittsburgh and was the first district in the city to develop outside the walls of the original Fort Pitt. It was originally farmland owned by William Penn’s grandson. When Thomas Mellon bought the land in 1840, he divided it into individual plots and began the first planned residential neighborhood in Pittsburgh. The first occupants of the hill were mostly wealthy professors. The ethnic makeup of the community began to change in 1870 when African-Americans and European immigrants began to settle down in the Hill District, attracted by job opportunities in the steel industry. By the 1930s, the residents of the Hill District were mostly AfricanAmerican, Jewish and Italian-American.

white union organizers, they provided steel mill owners a potential weapon to end strikes. Workers found themselves working 12-hour days for very little pay and living in cramped tenements owned by the mills. Renting housing to their workers was an effective way of keeping employees, since a worker would be less likely to quit his job if it also meant he would lose his home in the deal. Work conditions were often dangerous, and there was no compensation in the case of death or injury.

From the 1930s to the 1950s, the Hill District became one of the most energetic and powerful AfricanAmerican neighborhoods in the country. Sometimes called “the Crossroads of the World” or “Fun City,” the Hill District flourished as a center for business, art and music, and drew bustling crowds both day and night. The intersection of Wylie and Fullerton Avenues, overflowing with clubs, businesses and churches, was the center of the community.

Mill Workers The Hill District in the early 1900s was a growing African-American community whose residents were working to carve out a life for themselves by whatever means possible. For most of them that meant working in the steel mills and living in the tenements. From 1875-1945, Pittsburgh was a manufacturing metropolis, and steel was its primary product. To produce the cheap, high-volume steel, mill owners needed a steady supply of unskilled laborers. Labor unions were formed to protect the workers. After an 1875 strike crippled the iron industry in Pittsburgh, southern African-Americans were recruited to work in western Pennsylvania’s mills. Many African-Americans were more than ready to leave the South for a better life up north – no more farm work, better pay and a chance to be treated as real U.S. citizens. Since African-American workers didn’t trust unions and weren’t accepted by the

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In the Classroom 1) The images and/or activities listed below appear frequently throughout Gem of the Ocean, sometimes articulated by different characters discussing different situations. Follow one of them through the play and discuss its meaning and its effectiveness as a tool to bind together the various stories in the play. Entrance gates Dogs/dog excrement Journeys Shoes Water/washing

3) One of the key questions raised in Gem of the Ocean is exactly how free did African-Americans become when slavery was abolished. Read the Emancipation Proclamation and relate the ideas articulated in the document to the world of the play (Pittsburgh, 1904). 4) Cultural mythology plays a large part in the world of Gem of the Ocean. What stories can you think of from your own childhood that played a part in your beliefs growing up? What are some famous American myths you can think of? How do these influence your life?

5) August Wilson said of Aunt Ester that “obviously, no one can live to be as old as Aunt Ester…As for the decision to put her on stage, I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want just this mystical presence hanging over everything. I wanted her to be very human. Then we find out that this position of being Aunt Ester – this body of wisdom and memory that is her – has been passed down from one Aunt Ester to the other over a period of time. Though technically, I think, she is 285 years old in Gem, the actual person is 72 or 73.” Who do you think Aunt Ester really is? What does she represent? What is the wisdom that is being passed down? Where did it come from in the first place? Why do you think August Wilson chose to represent the character this way? 6) What is the City of Bones? Do you think it is a real place, or does it exist only in the mind? Aunt Ester says that it is necessary for Citizen to believe the two pennies are special because “he need to think that before he can come face to face with himself.” What does it mean to come face to face with yourself? 7) The characters in the play are all living in freedom, but are they truly free? How do you define freedom? Is it as much a state of mind as anything? Consider the characters one by one, and discuss how free you think each is. How does each person deal with his or her freedom? How does each character’s freedom change throughout the play?

8) Does your past define you? Do you feel that your past is just as important as what you do now? Does Solly’s work with the Underground Railroad earn him dispensation from any wrongs he may perpetrate now? Did it surprise you to learn that he burned down the mill? Why do you think he did it? What about Black Mary? How do all of her past relationships with men affect the way she deals with them now?

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Gem of the Ocean

2) Every character in Gem of the Ocean has chosen or been given a name that alludes to an idea. For example, Solly has given himself the names of David and Solomon, biblical kings known for their strength, wisdom and justice. Review each name and tell where you think it came from and why it fits or doesn’t fit the character to whom August Wilson has attributed it.

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Questions for Discussion


In the Classroom

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continued 9) The gatekeeper in Citizen’s City of Bones is Garret Brown. Citizen cannot move on in his life until he can get past him. Use this idea to discuss characters in other stories. Choose someone who is struggling with a difficult issue, and imagine he had to work it out in the mythical City of Bones. Why is the City of Bones a good place for him to confront this issue? Who would accompany him? What would be his good luck charm? What person would be awaiting him at the gates? Act out this confrontation using students to play the various roles. The goal is for the character to get past the guard by earning his forgiveness. 10) Citizen and Caesar are both responsible for a man’s death. Is either of them more guilty than the other? Are one man’s actions more justified?

Activities The play takes place in 1904, and it is important that the characters appear to live in this time period. Pick a character from the play and research what he or she might look like. Create the costume, hair and makeup for your character. Where do we go from here? At the end of the play, Citizen and Caesar both leave without saying a word. What do you think their lives will be like after this experience? How have they changed over the course of the play? Choose one of the two characters and write a monologue detailing his days after Solly’s death. Create a mock trial where each man has to defend his actions. Choose students to play each of the characters, as well as witnesses, lawyers, a judge and jury. Other students can be reporters covering the trial and providing updates on the day’s activities.

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Additional Resources Books Asante, Molefi K. and Mark T. Mattson. The African-American Atlas. New York: Macmillan, 1998. Ciment, James. Atlas of African-American History. New York: Facts on File, 2001.

Glasco, Laurence A., ed. The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004. Horton, James Oliver and Lois E. Horton, eds. A History of the African American People. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1997. Johnson, Thomas L. and Nina J. Root, eds. Camera Man’s Journey: Julian Dimock’s South. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2002. Pittsburgh Revealed: Photographs Since 1850. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Museum of Art, 1997. Roberts, Paul, ed. Points in Time: Building a Life in Western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh: Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, 1996.

Internet PBS: African-American History www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/segregation2.html www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/home.html www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/index.html The Huntington Theatre’s study guide for Gem of the Ocean: www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/gem/gem_dramaturgy.pdf For more information about August Wilson: www.dartmouth.edu/~awilson/bio.html

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Gem of the Ocean

Franklin, John Hope and Alfred A. Moss, Jr. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

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Adler, Peter and Nicholas Barnard. African Majesty: The Textile Art of the Ashanti and Ewe. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1992.


James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

Janet Allen Artistic Director

PRESENT

DEATH OF A SALESMAN BY

ARTHUR MILLER DIRECTED BY Tim Ocel SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

Erhard Rom

B Modern

Lap Chu Chi

SOUND DESIGN

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER

Todd Reichman

Stuart Plymesser

CORPORATE SPONSORS

SEASON SPONSORS

Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

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Who’s Who Willy Loman, a salesman, has traveled for more than 30 years up and down the East coast. At 63, Loman has become increasingly worried about his ability to take care of his family. Although his house is nearly paid for, and his sons are on their own, each sales trip is more exhausting and less satisfying.

But Willy is unable to acknowledge Biff’s disappointment. Alone and tormented, Willy recalls figments of the past. He’s haunted by memories of an affair with a woman in a hotel room, where Biff had surprised him.

Biff, the oldest son, has been estranged from his father. Later that night, when Happy, his younger brother, Biff and Happy return stayed in New York. For the home, Linda chastises moment the two brothers are Willy Loman- the salesman who is past his her sons for having back home. prime, and who was never an exceptional busiabandoned their father nessman in his prime in the restaurant. And Through the play a recurring Linda Loman- Willy's wife who loves him she continues to fiercely image haunts Willy’s imagidespite all of his difficulties defend Willy. But Biff nation — it’s his older brother Biff Loman- Willy's eldest son for whom he had can no longer live with Ben, a model of entrepredreams of greatness lies and false hopes. He neurial success. Happy Loman- Willy's younger son tells his father to “take Charley- Willy's neighbor that phony dream and Happy and Biff worry about Bernard- Charley's son burn it.” Willy sees Biff’s Willy’s behavior. Linda Ben- Willy's brother who left home very early outburst as a sign of Loman sadly acknowledges and became tremendously wealthy; appears love. the deterioration of their only in Willy's daydreams father’s spirit, and reveals to Howard Wagner - son of former owner of the Counting on the money them that he has lost his Wagner Company; he now runs the firm and is from his life insurance salary. He is working on responsible for putting Willy on straight commispolicy that will ensure commission only. She then sion his sons success, he insists to the boys show Willy The Woman - Willy's mistress from Boston drives off and is killed in respect and give him support: Miss Forsythe and Letta - Two girls that Happy an automobile crash. “Attention must be finally picks up at the restaurant paid to such a person.” When After the funeral, when she tells them that their father Biff concludes that his father had “the wrong dreams,” has even tried to kill himself, Biff agrees to move back Charley counters “He’s a man way out there in the home, find a job and help his parents. blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back - that’s an earthquake. … A salesNext morning, encouraged by his sons’ renewed supman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.” port, Willy goes to see his boss, Howard. He not only refuses Willy’s request, he tells him he is fired. Linda left by herself, addresses Willy and wonders why did he do it, why did he kill himself just when the last Willy turns to his neighbor Charley who offers him a payment on the house was made. Shaken by pain, she job, but Willy’s pride prevents him from accepting. mutters, “We’re free and clear. We’re free…” Instead, he borrows more money from Charley to pay his insurance premium.

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Death of a Salesman

“I’m tired to the death” he tells his wife, Linda. Miller uses a classic theatre model and confines the play’s action to 24 hours — and a few flashbacks — in the Loman’s family life as the turmoil in Loman’s mind boils to its tragic end.

His life spirals even more out of controI. Biff was stood up by a former boss and waited for hours. His frustration leads him to steal the man’s fountain pen. Willy, anguished by his own predicament, refuses to hear any such facts because, as he shouts at his sons: “The woods are burning, boys, you understand? There’s a big blaze going on all around. I was fired today.”

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Characters and the plot


In His Own Words Arthur Miller on Death of a Salesman

SyracusStage D e a t h o f aSyracusStage Salesman

W

…To me the tragedy of Willy Loman is that he gave his life, or sold it, in order to justify the waste of it. It is the tragedy of a man who did believe that he alone was not meeting the qualifications laid down for mankind by those clean-shaven frontiersmen who inhabit the peaks of broadcasting and advertising offices. From those forests of canned goods high up near the sky, he heard the thundering command to succeed as it ricocheted down the newspaper-lined canyons of his city, heard not a human voice, but a wind of a voice to which no human can reply in kind, except to stare into the mirror at a failure.

“wished” is not accurate. Any dramatic form is an artifice, a way of transforming a subjective feeling into something that can be comprehended through public symbols. Its efficiency as a form is to be judged – at least by the writer – by how much of the original vision and feeling is lost or distorted by this transformation. I wished to speak of the salesman most precisely as I felt about him, to give no part of that feeling away for the sake of any effect or any dramatic necessity. What was wanted was not a mounting line of tension, nor a gradually narrowing cone of intensifying suspense, but a bloc, a single chord presented as such at the outset, within which all the strains and melodies would already be contained. The strategy … was to appear entirely unstrategic. … If I could, I would have told the story and set forth all the characters in one unbroken speech or even one sentence or a single flash of light. As I look at the play now its form seems the form of a confession, for that is how it is told, now speaking of what happened yesterday, then suddenly following some connection to a time 20 years ago, then leaping even further back and then returning to the present and even speculating about the future.

— Arthur Miller

— Arthur Miller

riting in that form was like moving through a corridor in a dream, knowing instinctively that one would find every wriggle of it and, best of all, where the exit lay. There is something like a dream’s quality in my memory of the writing and the day or two that followed its completion. I remember the rehearsal when we had our first audience. Six or seven friends. The play working itself out under the single bulb overhead. I think that was the first and only time I saw it as others see it.

I knew that something astounding was being made here. It would have been almost enough for me without even opening the play. The actors, like myself and Kazan and the producer, were happy, of course, that we might have a hit; but there was a good deal more. There was a new fact of life, there was an alteration of history for all of us. — Arthur Miller

The first image that occurred to me which was to result in Death of a Salesman was of an enormous face, the height of the proscenium arch, which would appear and then open up, and we would see the inside of a man’s head. In fact, The Inside of His Head was the first title. It was conceived half in laughter, for the inside of his head was a mass of contradictions. … The Salesman image was from being absorbed with the concept in life that nothing in life comes “next” but that everything exists together and at the same time within us; that there is no past to be “brought forward” in a human being, but that he is his past at every moment and that the present is merely that which his past is capable of noticing and smelling and reacting to. I wished to create a form which, in itself as a form, would literally be the process of Willy Loman’s way of mind. But to say

The form of Death of a Salesman was an attempt, as much as anything else, to convey the bending of time. There are two or three sorts of time in that play. One is social time; one is psychic time, the way we remember things; and the third one is the sense of time created by the play and shared by the audience. …The play is taking place in the Greek unity of 24 hours; and yet it is dealing with material that goes back probably 25 years. And it almost goes forward through Ben, who is dead. So time was an obsession for me at the moment, and I wanted a way of presenting it so that it became the fiber of the play, rather than being something that somebody comments about. In fact, there is very little comment really in Salesman about time. I also wanted a form that could sustain itself the way we deal with crises, which is not to deal with them. After all, there is a lot of comedy in Salesman; people forget it because it is so dark by the end of the play. But if you stand behind the audience you hear a lot of laughter. It’s a deadly ironical laughter most of the time, but it is a species of comedy. The comedy is really a way for Willy and others to put off the evil day, which is the thing we all do. I wanted that to happen and not be something talked about. — Arthur Miller

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F

ew American plays of the 20th century hold as prominent a place in our collective imagination as Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. A triumphant success on Broadway, the play won both the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1949 and immediately became a resounding affirmation of the author’s distinctive voice.

Arthur Miller’s scripts Honors at Dawn, 1936 No Villain / They Too Rise, 1937 The Pussycat and the expert plumber who was a man, 1941 William Ireland’s Confession, 1941 The Man Who Hall All the Luck, 1944 That They May Win, 1944 Situation Normal, 1944 Grandpa and the Statue, 1945 The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945 (film script) Focus, 1945 - film 2001, dir. by Neal Slavin, screenplay by Kendrew Lascelles, starring William H. Macy, David Paymer, Laura Dern, and Meat Loaf The Guardsman, 1947 (from Ferenc Molnar) Three Men on a Horse, 1947 (from George Abbott and J.C. Holm) All My Sons, 1947 - film 1948, dir. by Irving Reis Death of a Salesman, 1949 An Enemy of the People (adaptation of Ibsen's play) The Crucible, 1953 A View from the Bridge, 1955 - film 1961, dir. by Sidney Lumet A Memory of Two Mondays, 1955 The Misfits, screenplay - film 1961 Jane’s Blanket, 1963 After the Fall, 1964 Incident at Vichy, 1964 I Don’t Need You Anymore, 1967

The Price 1968 In Russia, 1969 (with Inge Morath) Fame and the Reason Why, 1970 The Creation of the World and Other Business, 1972 The Archbishop’s Ceiling, 1977 In the Country, 1977 (with Inge Morath) The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller 1978 Fame, 1978 - television play Chinese Encounters, 1979 (with Inge Morath) The American Clock, 1980 (inspired by Stud Terkel's Hard Times) Playing For Time, 1980 (television drama, from F. Fenelon's novel) Elegy for a Lady, 1982 Salesman in Beijing, 1984 Some Kind of Love Story / Everybody Wins, 1982 Danger! Memory!!, 1987 Clara, 1987 I Can’t Remember Anything, 1987 Timebends: A Life, 1987 (autobiography) The Golden Years, 1987 Everybody Wins, screenplay - film 1989 The Last Yankee, 1990 The Ride Down Mount Morgan, 1991 Gillbury, 1993 Broken Glass, 1994 Echoes Down the Corridor: Collected Essays 19442000, 2000 Resurrection Blues, 2002 Finishing the Picture, 2004

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Drama critic Brooks Atkinson said of that first production, “Mr. Miller has looked with compassion into the hearts of some ordinary Americans and quietly transferred their hope and anguish to the theater.” During the last 55 years, the play has been published and pro-

duced all over the world. Whether in America or Germany, Russia or China, Willy Loman’s tragic struggle for dignity has echoed with the essential truth of the human condition in any society where dreams can be shattered by adversity. In 1983, Miller traveled to China to direct a production of Death of a Salesman in Beijing; it was the first American play to be directed by an American in that country. The enduring popularity of Death of a Salesman over five decades and across cultural boundaries supports Miller’s own description of it as a play which raises “questions ... whose answers define humanity.”

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An American Classic


Meet the Playwright

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Arthur Miller (1915 - 2005) Arthur Asher Miller was born October 17, 1915, in New York. His father was a clothing manufacturer in Brooklyn (the setting for Death of a Salesman). An avid athlete in high school, he took a growing interest in literature as he approached graduation. At the University of Michigan, he studied journalism and drama and started writing. Two of his college plays won prizes. A fellow prize winner was Tennessee Williams.

tion for the classical Greek dramatists. "When I began to write," he said in an interview, "one assumed inevitably that one was in the mainstream that began with Aeschylus and went through about twentyfive hundred years of playwriting.” Miller also has acknowledged the influence of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen on his own writing as well as on modern drama of our century. In 1950, he adapted a version of Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People.

After graduation, he moved back East and continued to write while holding a variety of odd jobs. In 1938, Miller joined the Federal Theater Project in New York City writing stage and radio plays. A football injury exempted him from the draft. His first Broadway play, The Man Who Had All the Luck, opened in 1944 to bad reviews. Three years later, All My Sons claimed his place as a major American playwright. It was about a factory owner who sells faulty aircraft parts during World War II. It won the New York Drama Critics Circle award and two Tony Awards. Death of a Salesman followed two years later and received extensive praise as “one of the finest dramas in the whole range of American Theatre.” In the period immediately following the end of World War II, Miller transformed American theater. Profoundly influenced by the Depression and the war that immediately followed it, Miller tapped into a sense of dissatisfaction and unrest within the greater American psyche. His probing dramas proved to be both the conscience and redemption of the times, allowing people an honest view of the direction the country had taken. Among his other well-known plays are: The Crucible (1953), A View From the Bridge (1955), A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), Incident at Vichy (1964) and The Price (1968). Miller's plays often depict how families are destroyed by false values. Scholars say his efforts show his admira-

The late 50s was a turbulent time for MIller. He was called before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities in 1956. In the same year, after the failure of his first marriage, he married Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, for whom he wrote The Misfits which was filmed in 1961. But his marriage to Monroe fell apart shortly thereafter; and she died in 1962. He returned to the stage in 1965 with After the Fall. In 1965, he was elected president of P.E.N., the international literary organization. In addition to other plays, Miller has written short stories, novels, an autobiography and many theater essays. Throughout his career he has also championed various causes of artistic freedom and human rights throughout the world. In 1985 Miller went to Turkey with the playwright Harold Pinter. Their journey was arranged by PEN in conjunction with the Helsinki Watch Committee. In the 1990s Miller wrote The Ride Down Mount Morgan (1991) and The Last Yankee (1993). In 2002, Miller was honored with Spain's prestigious Principle de Asturias Prize for Literature, making him the first U.S. recipient of the award. Miller died of heart failure at home in Roxbury, Connecticut, February 10, 2005.

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Birth of a Play Inspiration for Death of a Salesman built on the foundation of this household.

“As fanatic as I was about sports, my ability was not to be compared to [Manny’s] sons. Since I I suppose that to me a play is the was gangling and unhandway I sum up where I am at any some, I lacked their promparticular moment in my life. I’m ise. When I stopped by I not conscious of that when I’m always had to expect some working, but when I look back at kind of insinuation of my what I’ve written, it’s quite clear entire life’s probably failto me that that’s what I’m doing, ure, even before I was sixtrying to find out what I really teen.” think about life. Like everybody else, I think I believe certain In Timebends, Miller described things, and I think I disbelieve Manny’s wife “as one who bore the others, but when you try to write cross for them all” supporting her a play about them, you find out husband. One can easily see this that you believe a little of what woman honored in the character of “I could see his grim hotel you disbelieve and you disbelieve Linda Loman. room behind him, the long trip a lot of what you think you up from New York in his little believe. The dramatic form, at Miller met many other salesman car, the hopeless hope of the least as I understand it, is a kind through his Uncle, and they influday’s business. Without so of proof. It’s enced his perception. One man in much as acknowledging my a sort of court proceeding where particular struck Miller because of greeting he said, “Buddy is the less-than-true gets cast away his personal dignity. As Miller startdoing very well.” and what’s left is the kernel of ed in Timebends, this man “like any what one really stands for and travelling man ... had, to my mind, Miller described Newman as a believes. a kind of intrepid color that withman who was a competitor “at all — Arthur Miller stood, the inevitable putdowns, the times in all things.” In talking scoreless attempts to sell. In a sense about his uncle, he said “my [all salesmen are] like actors whose product is first of brother and I running neck and neck with his own sons all themselves, forever imagining triumphs in a world [Buddy and Abby] in some horse race [for success] that that either ignores them or denies their presence altonever stopped in his mind.” He also said the Newman gether. But just often enough to keep them going, one household was one in which you “dared not lose hope, of them makes it and swings to the moon on a thread of and I would later think of it as a perfection of America dreams unwinding out of himself.” Surely, Willy Loman for that reason ... It was a house trembling with resoluis such an actor, getting by “on a smile and a shoe tion and shouts of victories that had not yet taken place shine,” staging his life in an attempt to understand its but surely would tomorrow.” The Loman home was plot. In his autobiography, Timebends, Miller related that he found inspiration for the short story and the play in his own life. Miller based Willy Loman largely on his uncle, Manny Newman. In fact, Miller stated that the writing of the play began in the winter of 1947 after a chance meeting he had with his uncle outside the Colonial theater in Boston, where his All My Sons was having its pre-Broadway preview. Miller described that meeting in this way:

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Manny’s son Buddy, like Biff, in Miller’s play, was a sports hero, and like Happy Loman, popular with the girls. And like Biff, Buddy never made it to college because he failed to study in high school. In addition, Miller’s relationships with his cousin was similar to Bernard’s relationship with Biff and Happy in Salesman. As Miller stated:

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D

eath of a Salesman began as a short story that Arthur Miller wrote at the age of 17 while he was working for his father’s company. The story told of an aging salesman who cannot sell anything, who is tormented by the company’s buyers and who borrows change for the subway from the story’s young narrator. After finishing the story, Miller wrote a postscript on the manuscript saying that the real salesman on whom the story is based had thrown himself under a subway train.


Questions for Discussion 1) How would you describe the essence of the American Dream in light of the play? What is your own definition of the American Dream? How does it match or contradict the views and ideas about career and life achievement expressed by Willy, Linda, their two sons and other characters?

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2) In what way do you think about personal success? How important is it to you to be appreciated, recognized and rewarded for your accomplishments? What criteria confirm to you that indeed you are succeeding? 3) How do you compare the Lomans with an average American family, past or present? 4) What is happening to Willy in the course of the play? Discuss the dramatic situations that reveal the tormented state of his mind. What makes him claim that he’s “tired to the death” when he first appears in the play? What explains his restless, shifting moods? Discuss the tragic dilemmas that Willy struggles to overcome. If you have experienced similar difficulties how have you handled them? 5) Do you consider Linda to be a strong or weak woman, and why? To what extent do you find her behavior particular to the time of the play’s action? How might a woman facing similar difficulties and responsibilities today act differently? How might Linda be seen as part of the problem too, when she condones and/or feeds Willy's pipedreams? Support your view with examples. 6) Why does Willy become so angry when he sees Linda mending her stockings? Do you think the Loman family should intervene and help Willy stop working? Why don’t they take action when it becomes clear that he is suicidal? What would you do if you were in their shoes? By what means could Willy's suicide have been prevented? 7) What does Linda mean when she insists to her sons that: "Attention must be paid"? What conclusion is suggested in the play by the journey of the young characters, Biff, Happy and Bernard? What makes Bernard evolve in a different way than Biff? Do you identify with any of them? In what ways? 8) Describe how different characters overstate their case, even lie to themselves and each other, and how that affects their relationships. 9) Why does Biff give up all of his ambitions and college plans after his encounter with his father in Boston? Why doesn’t Biff tell Linda about Willy's affair? Comment on the Loman brothers’ behavior toward each other and their parents. 10) In what way is athletic ability a valuable sign of success in our culture? Discuss both Willy’s and Biff’s attitude toward studying and achieving success. Why does Ben loom large in Willy's mind at the particular moment of his life captured by Arthur Miller in the play? How would you describe Ben’s image in the play? 11) Describe the relationship between Willy and Charley. Why does Charley continue to help Willy even though Willy often doesn't respond in kind? How is their friendship marked by support and/or a competitive spirit? Give examples from the play to illustrate your answer. In what way do the relations of the Loman brothers with Bernard mirror their fathers’ interactions? 12) How are parent-child relationships explored in the play? Discuss not only Willy and Linda as parents, but also Charley, and Howard’s references to his son. What do you make of the following comment made by Charley about his relationship with Bernard: "My salvation is that I never took any interest in anything." Is Howard justified in his decision to let Willy go? Make a case to support your view.

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Questions for Discussion 13) Consider Miller’s language in the play. What metaphors, poetic motifs, phrases and key-words in the dialogue do you find memorable? Explain why. How do they sustain, echo, and highlight the themes of the play? What do you consider to be the climax of the play? How do the characters respond, act, and undergo change as a result of that moment?

Using metaphors of the play — create a poem that is a reflection of the play’s intent. Create a collage using the play’s metaphors in a visual format.

Production History

1968 Tony Award Best Play The Price nominee

Broadway Feb 10, 1949 - Nov 18, 1950 #2 Jun 26, 1975 - Aug 24, 1975 #3 Mar 29, 1984 - Jul 1, 1984 #4 Sep 14, 1984 - Nov 18, 1984 #5 Feb 10, 1999 - Nov 7, 1999

1953 Tony Award Best Play The Crucible winner

Awards

1949 Tony Award Best Play Death of a Salesman winner

1949 Tony Award Author Death of a Salesman winner

1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Death of a Salesman winner

2000 Tony Award Best Play The Ride Down Mt. Morgan nominee 1999 Tony Award Special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award Arthur Miller winner

1947 Tony Award Author All My Sons winner

1999 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Play The Ride Down Mt. Morgan nominee 1998 Drama Desk Award Special Award Arthur Miller winner Lifetime Achievement in the Theater 1994 Tony Award Best Play Broken Glass nominee

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Death of a Salesman

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Activities


Additional Resources

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BOOKS On Arthur Miller: Bigsby, Christopher. ed. Arthur Miller and Company. London: Methuen Drama, 1990. Bigsby, Christopher. ed. The Cambridge Companion to Arthur Miller. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Bloom, Harold. ed. Arthur Miller. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2003. Gottfried, Martin. Arthur Miller: His Life and Work. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2003. Martin, Robert A. and Steven R. Centola. eds. The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller. New York: Da Capo Press, 1996. Roudané, Matthew. ed. Conversations with Arthur Miller. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1987. Miller, Arthur. Salesman in Beijing. New York: Viking Press, 1983. Miller, Arthur. Timebends: A Life. New York: Penguin Books, 1987. Bloom, Harold. ed. Modern Critical Interpretations: Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988. Marino, Stephen A. ed. The Salesman Has a Birthday. New York: University Press of America, 2000. Roudané, Matthew. ed. Approaches to Teaching Miller’s Death of a Salesman. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1995. Spears, Timothy B. 100 Years on the Road: The Traveling Salesman in American Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. Terkel, Studs. American Dreams Lost and Found. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980. VIDEOS Death of a Salesman. Roxbury and Punch Production. Director: Volker Schlöndorff. Producer: Robert F. Colesberry. Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Kate Reid, John Malkovich, Stephen Lang, Charles Durning. Music: Alex North. KLV-TV Karl-Lorimar Video. 1986. Private Conversations on the Set of Death of a Salesman. Lorimar Home Video. 1985. PBS WEB SITES www.ibiblio.org/miller The Arthur Miller Society Official Website www.cforp.on.ca/cforp/esquisses/esquisses/PDF/12e/EAE4C.pdf See Unit 2: Defining Success: Exploring Death of a Salesman guweb2.gonzaga.edu/faculty/campbell/enl102/dsquizc.htm Test Yourself: Death of a Salesman multiple choice quiz cte.jhu.edu/techacademy/web/2000/kajder/wqmain.html American Dreams: A Virtual Museum Webquest

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James A. Clark

Robert Moss

Producing Director

Artistic Director

Janet Allen Artistic Director

PRESENT

THE UNEXPECTED GUEST BY

AGATHA CHRISTIE DIRECTED BY Robert Moss SCENIC DESIGN

COSTUME DESIGN

LIGHTING DESIGN

Russell Metheny

Georgia Lee

Phil Monat

SOUND DESIGN

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER

Jonathan Herter

Stuart Plymesser

CORPORATE SPONSORS

SEASON SPONSORS

The Unexpected Guest by Agatha Christie is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

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Queen of Crime Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976)

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A

gatha Christie was born the youngest of three children. Her mother was a wonderful story teller and Agatha inherited her ability. She was a lonely child for whom the garden in their house was an enchanting place. Each tree had a special meaning attached to it. She connected it with “mystery, terror, secret delight, inaccessibility and distance.” There she developed her ability to create stories. The family fell on hard financial times and moved to France. When she was 11, Agatha’s father died. Her mother became ill a few years later and the family moved to Egypt. It was around this time that Agatha started writing poetry, and occasionally won prizes. She started writing stories even more casually: While recovering from influenza, Agatha was bored lying in bed. Her mother suggested that she write a story. Agatha wrote The House Of Beauty, followed by The Call Of Wings, The Lonely God and The City Of Beautiful Nonsense. She sent these stories to magazines using the pseudonyms Mack Miller and Nathaniel Miller. All were promptly returned. Agatha was a very avid partygoer. At one of the dance parties she attended, she was introduced to Colonel Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps. The two got engaged around the time World War I broke out. After Agatha married, she started studying for the Apothecaries Hall Examination, which would enable her to dispense prescriptions for a medical office. It was there she learned a lot about poisons. Hercule Poirot, a former Belgian inspector, was born soon after, and she began to write her book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. On completion it was sent to a series of publishers who returned it. In the meantime, Archie had come home on a short holiday. He read the book and liked it. He had a friend in the Air Force who was a director of Methuen’s. The Mysterious Affair At Styles was dispatched there along with a letter of introduction from the director. It was

returned from there too. Ultimately, Agatha sent it to the publishing firm, The Bodley Head, and forgot about it. After the war ended, Agatha received a letter: The Mysterious Affair At Styles was accepted, provided certain changes were made. She signed a contract in which she received very little (£ 25). Her husband suggested she write a second book. By her third book, she began to attract a fan base and a magazine publisher asked her to write a series of Poirot stories. Agatha and her husband enjoyed a few years of success, but they struggled with money. She also fought depression.Then her husband confessed he was in love with someone else and the pair divorced. It was during this turbulent period that Agatha disappeared for about 11 days. She finally surfaced from a hotel explaining that she had lost her memory. She began writing again and decided to take a vacation. She traveled to Baghdad on The Orient Express. There she met her next husband, Max Mallowan. They were married in 1930. During her carrer she created Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Parker Pyne, and others. Agatha remained very active right up to the end. In 1967, she became the President of the British Detection Club and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1971. She died on January 12, 1976, at her home in England. In her autobiography, which she finished when she was 75, Agatha wrote, "I live now on borrowed time, waiting in the ante-room for the summons that will inevitably come. And then I go on to the next thing, whatever it is. One doesn’t luckily have to bother about that. “I am ready now to accept death. I have been singularly fortunate. I have with me my husband, my daughter, my grandson, my kind son-in-law – the people who make up my world."

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Who’s Who The cast of characters Honors 1956 Awarded Commander of the British Empire

Michael Starkwedder - 35, not very polished but a shrewd thinker as well as a man of action. An engineer

1967 Became President of the British Detection Club

Miss Bennett - Benny. a combined housekeeper and secretary

1971 Made Dame Commander of the British Empire

Jan Warwick - 19, Richard Warwick’s half brother Mrs. Warwick - Richard Warwick’s mother Henry Angell - Richard Warwick’s valet for 31/2 years Sargeant Cadwallader - the detective investigating the murder Inspector Thomas - also investigating the murder Julian Farrar - Laura Warwick’s boyfriend

Plot “The door opened and the unexpected guest comes in”

A traveller, Michael Starkwedder, wanders into the Warwick’s home. He sees Laura Warwick standing over the body of her dead husband. Laura says she killed him and Michael, who says he crashed his car in a ditch, tries to help her. “Maybe I’m a sucker, but I’m believing you,” he says. The two of them concoct an alibi, and they wake up the household. The victim’s mother calls the police. The investigation begins and Sargeant Cadwallader interviews all of the house’s occupants. It seems everyone has a grudge against the victim. But who really did it? The widow’s boyfriend, the victim’s paranoid brother? Or is there something from Richard Warwick’s past that finally caught up with him.

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U n ex p e c t e d G u e s t

Laura Warwick - a widow by her own hand

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Richard Warwick - A big game hunter. He had been crippled in an accident. Dead at the start of the play


Wealthy in Words

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Agatha Christie’s works The ABC Murders - 1936 The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding - 1960 After the Funeral/Funerals are Fatal 1953 And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians 1939 Appointment with Death - 1938 At Bertram's Hotel - 1965 The Big Four - 1927 The Body in the Library - 1942 By the Pricking of my Thumbs - 1968 Cards on the Table - 1936 A Caribbean Mystery - 1964 Cat Among the Pigeons - 1959 The Clocks - 1963 Crooked House - 1949 Curtain: Poirot's Last Case - 1975 Dead Man's Folly - 1956 Death Comes At The End - 1945 Death in the Clouds/Death In The Air 1935 Death on the Nile - 1937 Destination Unknown/So Many Steps to Death 1954 Double Sin and Other Stories - 1961 Dumb Witness/Poirot Loses a Client 1937 Elephants Can Remember - 1972 Endless Night - 1967 Evil Under the Sun - 1941 Five Little Pigs/Murder In Retrospect 1943 4.50 from Paddington/What Mrs. McGillicuty Saw 1957 The Golden Ball and Other Stories - 1971 Halloween Party - 1969 Hercules Poirot's Christmas/A Holiday for Murder 1938 Hickory Dickory Death - 1955 The Hollow Murder After Hours - 1946 The Hound of Death - 1933 The Labours of Hercules - 1947 The Listerdale Mystery/Morterblumen - 1934 Lord Edgware Dies/Thirteen At Dinner - 1933 The Man in the Brown Suit/Mystery of the Mill House - 1924 Miss Marple's Final Cases - 1979 The Mousetrap and Other Stories/3 Blind Mice - 1950 The Moving Finger - 1943 Mrs. McGinty's Dead - 1952 The Murder in the Vicarage - 1930 Murder in Mesopotamia - 1936 Murder in the Mews/Dead Man's Mirror 1937 A Murder is Announced - 1950 Murder is Easy/Easy to Kill - 1939 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - 1926

Murder on the Links - 1923 Murder on the Orient Express/Murder on the Calais Coach 1934 The Mysterious Affair at Styles - 1920 The Mysterious Mr. Quin - 1930 The Mystery of the Blue Train - 1928 Nemesis - 1971 N or M? - 1941 One, Two, Buckle My Shoe/The Patriotic Murders 1940 Ordeal by Innocence - 1958 The Pale Horse - 1961 Parker Pyne Investigates/Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective 1934 Partners in Crime - 1929 Passenger to Frankfurt - 1970 Peril at End House - 1932 A Pocket Full of Rye - 1953 Poirot Investigates - 1924 Poirot's Early Cases - 1974 Postern of Fate - 1973 Problem at Pollensa Bay - 19?? The Regatta Mystery - 1939 Sad Cypress - 1940 The Secret Adversary - 1922 The Secret of Chimneys - 1925 The Seven Dials Mystery - 1929 The Sittaford Mystery/The Murder At Hazelmoor 1931 Sleeping Murder - 1976 Sparkling Cyanide Remembered Death - 1945 Taken at the Flood/There Is a Tide - 1948 They Came to Baghdad - 1951 They Do It With Mirrors/Murder with Mirrors - 1952 Third Girl - 1966 The Thirteen Problems/The Tuesday Club Murders 1932 Three-Act Tragedy Murder In Three Acts - 1935 Towards Zero - 1944 The Underdog and Other Stories - 1951 Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories Why Didn't They Ask Evans/The Boomerang Clue 1934 Come Tell me How You Live Star Over Bethlehem Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

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Mystery’s Golden Age C

Clues must be presented to the reader, even if they are cleverly disguised or phrased ambiguously. And the villain must be some character who has appeared or been mentioned fairly plainly in the story under some circumstance before the revelation. Otherwise, how could that person ever be suspected?

But it wasn’t until the time of Godwin, Hogg, Brown, Radcliffe, Collins, LeFanu, Gaboriau and others that there were precursors of the modern detective story.

The author must not tell a lie, either in the third person or through the mouth of a character who is pronounced unequivocally to be trustworthy or has no ulterior motive to lie.

Edgar Allan Poe is considered to be the the progenitor of the genre. Then Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his rivals G.K. Chesterton and MacGillivray Freeman set the standards. Some critics say a golden age of mystery novels began with the publication of Bentley's Trent's Last Case in 1913. The genre has been criticized for years — e.g., by Raymond Chandler — for being unrealistic, but they are not intended to be so. They could be considered fantasy stories. A good mystery is a piece of entertainment. And a suspension of disbelief is required. The genre follows strict rules. First, there has to be a detective who is set apart from everybody else (including the reader) by eccentric habits/appearance (or by contrast, total blandness), exceptional intelligence, the practice of making obscure statements instead of just revealing deductions and revelations as they occur. The detective is meant to frustrate. The official police (or if the detective is a policeman, his compatriates) must be bumblers — even when they discover useful evidence, they should always miss the point. It helps when your detective has a smart rival — cop, district attorney, etc. — who is also clever, but not as clever — to come up with alternate solutions. That increases tension, plot development, and amusement to the degree that that sub-detective usually ends up with the same solution the reader would have deduced.

Accuracy must come into play as to the reality of physical (natural) laws, judicial proceedings and even the hierarchy of Constable/Sergeant/Inspector/ Superintendent/Chief Constable etc. If there is a particular, even if imaginary-based-onknown-somewhere, setting, it must be geographically accurate. And the rendering of dialectical accents without knowledge of how they sound or should be transliterated is just plain irritating. This also includes stereotypical racial burlesques, although a lot of the old books contain elements that read that way to our minds. There must be a clear motivation for the crime, even if hidden as a “clue.” No point in having the villain turn out to be a lunatic who just felt like killing at the time and then went and sat down and had a cup of tea. Hannibal Lecter is a great villain, like Moriarty and Blofeld bracketing the Golden Age, but is not a proper “perp” for a pure detective story. The methodology of the crime should at least seem plausible even if impractical or based on an amalgamation of coincidental circumstance. (Whether it would ever work in real life is not the point, but do not claim that the villain actually flew through the air. The reader must be convinced that it COULD have happened.)

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U n ex p e c t e d G u e s t

rime stories have existed since the story began. Geoffrey Chaucer, Malory, and others chronicled rogue stories. Shakespeare and his contempories detailed stories of crime and intrigue. In the 18th Century, crime stories like Henry Fielding's Jonathan Wild wove tales of scoundrels who sometimes got away with their crimes and others not.

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Follow the formula’s clues


Mystery of Christie Does she deserve a place in the classroom?

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campaign is under way to champion the work of British crime writer Agatha Christie. But with two billion books sold worldwide, why bother?

The best-selling fiction author of all time, named as such in the Guinness Book of Records, should need no publicity push. But fans of whodunit expert Agatha Christie say she has never fully gained the respect of her native country, where the view persists in some quarters that she's not actually that good. Novelist Anthony Burgess, for example, accused her of flimsy characterization and cliché, and the Oxford Companion to English Literature notes her "undistinguished style" and "slight characterization.” She published 66 novels, 154 short stories and 20 plays. Her books have been translated into over 70 languages. The Mousetrap, which opened in London in 1952, is one of the longest continuously running plays in theatrical history. No such criticism exists in other parts of the world, including France, where literary giants Roland Barthes and Umberto Eco have praised aspects of her work. In recent years, sales of Christie's books in France have outstripped those in the UK by four to one, while US schoolchildren study her work. What can modern readers learn from a world where an eccentric private detective unmasks a killer, in a genteel society with a sinister underbelly? They can be thrilled, challenged and educated, says Tamsen Harward, crime business manager at Chorion. "How come this British woman, whose stories are excellent at gripping the reader, motivating reluctant readers and suitably challenging precocious readers, is not studied in the UK?" she says. "The way she crafts her novels, leaving so much to the imagination but laying out a puzzle, a challenge for the reader to engage with, is still relevant today for readers of any age.

appears to be a very respectable woman but who is actually writing poisoned pen letters and plotting a murder. You only have to read the newspapers today to see this still goes on." Themes of greed, passion and what motivates usually sane people to kill are just as compelling now as when they were written, she adds. And the vulnerability of modern detectives such as Inspector Morse owes much to the original outsider, Hercule Poirot. "We're not suggesting that Agatha Christie is Shakespeare but she's a good book to read as a class project or summer reading," says Harward. "She's an author worthy of recognition by her nation." Christie may be a great writer but having her studied in schools is taking it too far, says crime writer Robert Barnard. "I'm dubious about this. We have been fleeing from the 19th and early 20th century texts in education. Christie is a fine read. Read her when you're 13 but then forget about her and read Great Expectations. She doesn't stretch them as far as language or psychological complexity is concerned." A crime novel will never rival Salman Rushdie or Ian McEwan because it doesn't have the depth but Christie's lack of artistry makes the reader trust her like a newspaper report, he says. And the "beautiful simplicity" of the characters means they are more easily identifiable in other countries. Columnist Johann Hari offers another theory to explain her enduring popularity, which he says even reached Buchenwald concentration camp, where Jewish inmates performed And Then There Were None, and remote Uruguay, where the Tupamaros guerrillas adopted Miss Marple as their honorary leader. "Christie offers us a world of perfect order and only wicked and evil people disturb that perfect order but they are invariably captured. That's why people in Buchenwald read her — we have a desire to believe the world is an English village."

"Also, she's writing about your next-door neighbor, who

— Tom Geoghegan BBC News Magazine

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Timeline Development of the mystery genre

1903 The first narrative movie in history, a silent film called The Great Train Robbery, is released. Shot with a budget of $150, the story is based on a Wyoming robbery committed by Butch Cassidy's gang. 1927 Frank and Joe Hardy embark on their crime-fighting careers with the publication of The Tower Treasure. Nancy Drew follows in 1930. Seven decades later, the brothers and Nancy continue as favorites of young readers around the world. 1930 The first weekly radio detective show, Sherlock Holmes, starring William Gillette, debuts. In fact, it is one of the country's first radio dramas of any sort. 1939 Batman debuts in "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" in Detective Comics. The caped crusader, joined by Robin, later appears in comic books, television, novels and films, introducing mystery to a brand-new audience of children and adults of all ages. 1945 Mystery Writers of America (MWA), an organization established to promote and protect the interest and welfare of mystery writers and increase the esteem and literary recognition of the genre, is founded in New York City.

1957 The television show Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr, debuts. The popular series runs until 1966. Future mystery television series will include: Dragnet (1959), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955), The Mod Squad (1968), Columbo (1971), The Rockford Files (1974), Charlie's Angels (1976), Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977), Hardy Boys Mysteries (1977), Remington Steele (1982), Miami Vice (1984), Murder, She Wrote (1984), Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989), Law & Order (1990), and Diagnosis Murder (1993). 1972 Murder Ink, the world's first mystery bookstore, opens on Manhattan's Upper West Side. By mid-1999, the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association estimates there are over 150 mystery bookstores worldwide. 1995 The first online mystery network, MysteryNet, publisher of online mysteries and mystery websites, debuts on the Internet. In 1999 more than 500,000 people receive TheCase.com's weekly online mini-series via email – a circulation that rivals popular magazines Details, George, GQ, Martha Stewart Living, Mirabella and New York. 1998 According to Variety, 14 out of the top 50 grossing movies of 1998 were mysteries. They include Rush Hour, Lethal Weapon, Enemy of the State, The X-Files, A Perfect Murder and Snake Eyes. 1999 In the past few decades, mystery books come second only to romance in units sold. Over 60 million mystery detective books were purchased by consumers in 1997, representing 11percent of the popular fiction books purchased for the year. www.mysterynet.com/evolution/

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U n ex p e c t e d G u e s t

1887 Sherlock Holmes, widely acknowledged as the most famous literary character in history, makes his debut in "A Study in Scarlet" in The Strand Magazine.

1946 MWA institutes the Edgar Allan Poe Awards (the Edgars) to recognize excellence in mystery novels, stories, films, plays, radio and television dramas.

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1841 Edgar Allan Poe publishes what some critics recognize as the first mystery story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," introducing a brand new genre to readers of Graham's Magazine. The 18th-century genre of gothic novellas predate Poe, according to some critics.


In the Classroom Everyone Loves a Mystery: A Genre Study Story Map for Solve-it Stories U n ex p e c tSyracusStage eSyracusStage d Guest

Main character: Secondary character: Setting (where and when): Problem:

Main events:

Climax:

Solution:

Example of suspense:

Specific clues the author gives:

Copyright 2005 IRA/NCTE.

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In the Classroom Students will: Research and examine the story elements and vocabulary that are characteristic of the mystery genre using the Internet and other available materials Identify and understand the structure of mysteries using story maps to solve mystery stories online and in class Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and characteristics of the mystery genre by using an outline Demonstrate knowledge of story elements characteristic of mysteries by completing a project about a mystery book of their own choosing Instructional Plan

2) Record all the story elements that student identify as characteristic of mysteries for use in the next session. 3) Allow students to work in pairs to complete the Mystery Hunt at the Millennium Mystery Madness Web site. library.thinkquest.org/J002344/ 4) Distribute the Story Map for Solve-It Stories to students. Allow them to work in pairs while they complete at least one "solve-it" activity at MysteryNet's Kids Mysteries and fill in the story map handout. 5) Introduce students to the Story Starters Web page, where they see how to apply mystery elements to an original story. 6) Review what defines the qualities of "good" writing. The seven traits are ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation. 7) Divide the students into teams, Have them write an outline for their own story. 8) Have students write their stories. They can publish them online using Mystery Writing with Joan Lowery Nixon.

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U n ex p e c t e d G u e s t

1) Review general story elements (e.g., plot, climax, setting, character) with students. Brainstorm story elements that students think may be unique to mysteries.

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Continued


Additional Resources

U n ex p e c tSyracusStage eSyracusStage d Guest

Dorothy and Agatha - G Larsen, 1990 A study of Agatha Christie's Detective Fiction - P D Maida and N B Spornick, 1982. Agatha Christie A to Z: The Essential Reference to Her Life and Writings (Literary A to Z) (Hardcover) by Dawn B. Sova, Mathew Prichard (Introduction), Agatha Christie (Introduction)

Internet www.britannica.com www.biography.com www.xrefer.com/entry/172392 www.bartleby.com/61/32/c0333200.html www.shawfest.com/playbill/christiebio.html www.applebookshop.co.uk/author/christic.htm www.polars.ouvation.org/a.christie-bio.htm www.encyclopedia.com/artclesnew/49782.html www.springfieldlibrary.org/stacks/advis.html audio recording of interview with Agatha Christie www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/audiointerviews/profilepages/christiea1.shtml

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Notes

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2006-07 A Season to Taste  

2006-07 A Season to Taste- Study Guide

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