Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
This play has come a long way. This play started off as a series of sketch scenes about an incompetent magician, his lovely assistant, and dim, but loveable stage hand named Bosco. At some point as a writer, I became fascinated with obsession, and what people will do when they are obsessed with something. Over time, this play became an examination of duality. Specifically the difference between art versus commerce, craft versus fame, surface level versus what goes on below that surface. And because every play that I write will, in part, be inspired by a need for me to run around a theater in fancy costumes with my friends, I wanted to set it in a place, and in a time, that was, itself very theatrical. And the period of time during which the Vaudeville stage gave way to the movie screen is a fascinating period in arts history. Art, and creative expression have always gone hand in hand with changes and evolution in societal culture. Throughout history we see mainstream fads make way for the tastes of one counter- cultural movement of another. But with the slow death of Vaudeville, corresponding with the meteoric rise of film, we see two non-mainstream aspects of culture vying for prominence. Film and vaudeville vying for significance in the eyes of the public at large gave this era an excitement that is quite unique, and I wanted to take advantage of that unique energy when I wrote this play. Overall with this play, I wanted to create an experience for theater goers. I wanted to create something you couldn't see in movies, and I wanted to create something audiences couldn't see at a typical night at the theater.
Daniels, Robert McLane Knight, "Murder at the Palace Theater" (2018). ETD Archive. 1057.