Overall Laughing One and the Experiences


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Old Dominion University
ODU Digital Commons
Institute for the Humanities Theses

Institute for the Humanities

Winter 1991
Overall Laughing One and the Experiences
Anina Porter Adams
Old Dominion University

Follow this and additional works at: https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/humanities_etds Part of the Philosophy Commons, Playwriting Commons, and the Psychology Commons
Recommended Citation
Adams, Anina P.. "Overall Laughing One and the Experiences" (1991). Master of Arts (MA), thesis, Humanities, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/swr6-2p04 https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/humanities_etds/31
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OVERALL LAUGHING ONE AND THE EXPERIENCES by
Anina Porter Adams B.S. May 1986, Old Dominion University
A Creative Project submitted to the Faculty of Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of
MASTER OF ARTS HUMANITIES
OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY December 1991 Approved by: Marriai^ L . T a u s o n (Director)
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ABSTRACT OVERALL LAUGHING ONE AND THE EXPERIENCES
Anina Porter Adams Old Dominion University, 1991 Director: Dr. Douglas G. Greene
A fictional play based on the study of writings by psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung. The action is set in the imaginary realm of archetypes, amoral personified energies which appear in tales from diverse cultures. In this play the mythical characters move in an ordered, ritualistic manner. They are dependent upon a geometrically centered black box for the provision of human forms through which they experience "being." A female is the human form provided in this instance and she combines her own energy with that of the other characters though she is not conscious of this fact. The archetypal energies focus on the female from her moment of entry into physical limitation to her reluctant acceptance of the hidden aspects of Self and her inevitable return to the black box.
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Copyright by Anina Porter Adams 1991 All Rights Reserved
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DEDICATED TO: Beloved teacher and friend,
Eleanor Strother Cooley
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

I. C R E A T I V E PROJECT STATEMENT .........................

1

II. OVE R A L L L A U G H I N G ONE A N D THE EXPERIENCES . . .

1

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CREATIVE PROJECT STATEMENT To pursue a master's degree in the humanities seemed both exciting and logical. The undergraduate program for a bachelor of science degree in psychology conferred at Old Dominion University had provided a wide spectrum of scientifically determined viewpoints on human behavior. Course requirements for a certificate in Women's Studies had provided viewpoints on behavior, historically. Humanities could provide an opportunity to study behavior and the communication of ideas from a different perspective within a specific time period. The option of philosophy courses in Jungian Thought was also a positive consideration. Psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung had been noted as an associate of Sigmund Freud in some of the required reading material during undergraduate studies. Since s y m b olism appeared as a major factor in J u n g ’s work, I hoped to gain insight especially as to symbolism apparent in theatre. Humanities, therefore, offered the core for study with English, Theatre Arts and Philosophy as the three disciplines for expansion of that core. The decision to write a play was made with the realization that each course incorporated into the program would contribute significantly to such an endeavor.
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Humanities courses, designed and taught by the Institute of Humanities Director Dr. Douglas G. Greene, illustrated viewpoints differing according to the times, the locations and the writers' personal reflections in social settings.
"Culture and State from Sumeria to Florence: Problems of the Ideal and the Actual" (HUM 601) included six works written by those living in a period and place in history where the power of mythical figures was both privately and publicly acknowledged.
"Humanities On Trial" (HUM 602), the second core course, expanded on the ideologies and political temper from the 17th century forward. Required reading included seven works that reflected not only cultural attitudes but an increasing interest in various moralistic approaches to the questions of life. In that time period, humanistic values and ethical behaviors were challenged by an increasing interest in scientific developments.
Scientific advances in mathematics and chemistry not only provided heretofore unknown answers to the composition of familiar forms of matter, but also promised to provide an enhanced vocabulary to ask more clearly articulated questions. For those desirous of pursuing the esoteric in a less orthodox manner, there were the pseudosciences of astrology and alchemy.
"Detective Fiction: The World of the Mystery Story" (HUM 696) dealt with writers and their works from Victorian
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to modern times. The earlier fiction reflected changing perspectives in general, from a fear of God to a respect for science and technology. A high regard was also felt for government and legally instituted rules of behavior. Detective fiction reflected a wide range of concerns. Stories of threats to an ordered world and challenges to an ordered individual life both appeared in print.
There prevailed, however, the promise in the writing that order would be restored through intellect, logic and technology.
Humanities courses gave a foundation for understand­ ing that a basic premise or assumption can exist within the minds of the writers, and the people of their period, that is not altogether objective. The influence of unspoken assumptions is revealed in the writing. However, o b j e c t i v i t y is not only an asset but is a n e c e s s i t y for a reader from another time period to fully appreciate diverse and imaginative ideas.
English and Theatre Arts courses helped in understand­ ing some of the more practical aspects to be considered in writing a play.
Dr. William Reuhlmann designed and taught "Creative Writing: N o n - Fi cti on” (ENG 665) using much of his own creative work that appears regularly in The Virginian Pilot and Ledger S t a r . Also used for analysis in class was The Pulitzer Prizes: 1989 edited by Kendall J. Wills. Through specific assignments, experience was gained in
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interviewing subjects for possible news articles. It became apparent that a word "portrait" could be "painted" through an article written with a specific point of view and a cultivated personal style.
In writing my play, it first seemed important to look at the interplay of human and archetype from the human perspective. As The Magic Scarf, this might have happened. However, when the title of the play became Overall Laughing One And The Experiences, a fantasy tale, somewhat mythical and ritualistic, seemed the creative challenge to be met.
The experience in interviewing people and reporting directly influenced creating fictional characters. Much that is necessary to writing non-fiction, I learned, can be applied to writing fiction. Specific patterns of exposition, the manner in which a character can be introduced to the audience and the value of a character's personal reflections can be used in both types of writing.
Dr. Erlene Hendrix permitted tutorial work in Theatre Arts (TART 597) with a recommendation to also attend and participate in an undergraduate course, "Acting I" (TART 242), taught by Rebecca Williams.
Through a wide range of reading materials, a greater respect for the art of theatre developed. After the writer creates the work of art, analysis from three areas begins. I perceive the play as being a triangular base with three equal-sided triangles rising from that base to form a pyramid. The rising triangular planes represent
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