The Egghead: A Play in Three Acts

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Dramatists Play Service, 1958 - Drama - 88 pages
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The Egghead, like Solitaire, was an attempt by the author to create order out of chaos - that is , out of civilization, ours, that Molly considered incorrectly ordered. Goodhearted Molly was the self-appointed Spokesperson of the Truth. But her work ha fault that is fatal in the theatre, one so deep in character that it could not be corrected. There was no moment in that evening's entertainment when it appeared that both sided might be right; only Molly, the author, was right. In the theatre, order, clairty and goodness are not enough; to be correct is not a sufficient virtue. An audience wants to be shaken and for a time kept in doubt. That's the fun of it. Molly, being absolute about her opinions, had no inner conflicts herself; she could therefore create conflicts only within a perimeter she'd set. The audience felt that she knew a solution to everything happening on stage and that she'd uncover these solutions when she chose to. This produced the one unforgivable dramatic fault: the conclulsion was predictable. The conflicts were not genuine because they did not exist in the author, so were not felt as genuine conflicts by her. Her audience, good-natured and kind, may have agreed with her 'positions, but they wer not interested in the confrontation - more like a school debate or a 'fixed' fight - that she set up. In the theatre, there has to be a belly of chaos under the event. The audience should be uncertain of the outcome until the end. Only then may a resolution be of dramatic interest. (Elia Kazan about his wife's work) 


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