Date Approved

6-30-2004

Embargo Period

4-25-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Theatre

Department

Theatre & Dance

College

College of Performing Arts

First Advisor

Hostetter, Elisabeth

Subject(s)

Kaufman, George S. (George Simon), 1889-1961--Criticism and interpretation

Disciplines

Theatre and Performance Studies

Abstract

Known for his comedic plays, George S. Kaufman became one of the most successful playwrights in American theatre history. Part of his success stems from his metatheatrical writing techniques, which he used by incorporating people from his life into his plays and by writing about the business he experienced first hand. To date, no sources link Kaufman and the metatheatrics of his work. Therefore, this thesis highlights these links and explores how far Kaufman took his metatheatrical viewpoints, why he chose to use this method, and what statements he made by using these techniques. In order to prove this thesis, three Kaufman plays are examined: The Man Who Came To Dinner (with Moss Hart), The Butter and Egg Man (solo), and The Royal Family (with Edna Ferber). Primary research includes analysis of theatrical reviews and extractions from biographies about Kaufman. The study provides an analysis of Kaufman's metatheatrical writing style based on the three plays listed above.

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