February 11, 2013
Introduction to Theatre
Ed and Edgar
Dodging traffic, picking up the dry cleaning, and applying for jobs are the hallmarks of a monotonously scheduled life. Daydreaming provides an appropriate escape for the dullness of routines. In David Ives’ play “Degas, C’est Moi” found in his Carpe Diem themed collection of one-act plays Time Flies the protagonist Ed daydreams out loud by pretending to be Edgar Degas for a full day. From his spur of the moment decision in the morning to his epiphany at night Ed epitomizes the desires of the human spirit – including humanity’s desire for immortality and greatness. Due to the play’s universal themes this one-act can be characterized as a ‘fine’ play. Among other qualities this play is characterized by its well established credibility, intrigue, richness, gravity, pertinence, economy, intensity, and celebration.
The credibility and intrigue of a play
address the believability of the characters and events in the play and how well it involves its audience in the story. A strong and credible script should be, as Louis E. Catron states in his book The Elements of Playwriting, “plausible, probable, and playable.” This means that the play’s plot should flow logically and it characters should be believable. A good a script also appeals to the inherently voyeuristic nature of readers or audience members. Readers and audience members should be invested in the characters and the action of a play. They should be eager to discover how the story will unfold and what will happen next. For example, “Degas, C’est Moi” chronicles a rather mundane day in Ed’s life. He picks up the dry cleaning, goes to a museum, buys a donut, and has dinner with his wife. In order to cope with this humdrum day, and possibly humdrum life, Ed occupies himself by taking on the role of Edgar Degas. And even though he wonders “is it Edgar, or Edouard” and admits that he does not know much about him he...
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